YORK, Neb. (AP) – A mosquito species native to tropical climates and known to carry the Zika virus has been found in Nebraska.
State health officials said Tuesday in a news release that the Aedes aegypti mosquito was recently found in southeastern Nebraska’s York County. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says it’s the first time that type of mosquito has been found in Nebraska.
Health officials say the Aedes aegypti bites primarily in the daytime, only feeds on people, and can only fly about 500 feet. Besides Zika, it’s been known to spread yellow fever, chikungunya and dengue.
State epidemiologist Dr. Tom Safranek says the spread of such diseases would require an infected person to be bitten by the mosquito that would then have to bite an uninfected person, making the risk of such infections in Nebraska low.