More than 20 people in the mainland U.S. have been diagnosed with the virus, which is linked with birth defects.
Health authorities in Arkensas are reporting that one resident has tested positive after an international trip. According to CBS News, Arkansas has the type of mosquito that can carry Zika. If that insect bites someone with the virus, it could then go on to infect another person.
Why B.C. needs to pay attention
The Zika virus is part of the same family as the one that causes yellow fever, West Nile, and dengue.
Adding to the concern, is that there’s no vaccine or treatment.
Peter Belton is a retired professor at Simon Fraser University who specializes in mosquitos.
He says virus, and the mosquito that carries it, is something B.C. needs to look at.
“There are two Asian mosquitoes that have become established in Canada, if we do get the virus up here and the climate changes enough to make the virus propagate quickly, then I think we could be in trouble. But don’t panic yet, people will be watching very closely.”
The World Health Organization says more research is needed into the link between the Zika virus and the recent sudden surge of birth defects in Latin America.
For a complete list of countries affected, click here.