New research on the Zika virus is raising concerns. On Wednesday, a group of scientists said a more common mosquito than the known transmitter species could carry the virus, the Guardian reports.
The laboratory scientists, working in Brazil, were able to infect the more prevalent species, known as Culex quinquefasciatus, with the virus, which is suspected of causing birth defects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
But they said more research is needed to determine whether the Culex mosquitoes can transmit the virus. It will be far more difficult to contain the Zika outbreak if the Culex mosquito is able to transmit it to humans.
According to the Guardian, scientists have identified more than 20 mosquito species in Africa that carry the virus, but have not determined that those species can transmit Zika to people.
The scientists in Brazil said much is still unknown. They injected 200 Culex mosquitoes with rabbit blood infected with the virus, but the researchers don’t know if infected Culex mosquitoes already exist.
Their study has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal.
SOURCE: Guardian | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform