Local health officials tracking mosquito found in Indiana that could carry Zika virus

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A new study is raising concern about human transmission of the Zika virus.

The U.S. study found genetic fragments of the virus in the eyes and tears of lab mice that have Zika and researchers say it could be passed on through contact, but more studies are required.

Meanwhile, health officials here in Indiana are tracking a mosquito that has the potential to carry Zika and has already been found around the state.

“The documentation of the mosquitoes is something that is normal, but in light of the fear of the Zika virus concerns…we just want to make sure that we are documenting where this vector is located,” said Indiana State Department of Health Senior Vector-Borne Epidemiologist Entomology Director Bryan Price.

The species of mosquito has been found in Indiana for many years, but this year the State Department of Health is keeping a closer eye on the bug after Zika concerns have spread across the country and world.

The mosquito can be a carrier of the Zika virus, but officials have not yet found a single mosquito in the area and say they do not plan to find one anytime soon.

“The big message is that it is not mosquitoes that are carrying Zika that have been found, it is just the species of the mosquito. The species is naturally found in Indiana and has been documented by our surveillance system,” said Price.

Still, there are 34 confirmed cases of Zika virus in Indiana that have all been travel related. Health officials say that small number makes is very difficult for a mosquito to pick up the virus. The main concern for Hoosiers is the West Nile virus, which comes back every year. Now, health officials are encouraging everyone to take precautions against all mosquitoes through the month of October.