Seasonal Occurrence and Abundance of Zika Virus Vector Mosquito
An ongoing Zika virus pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean has raised concerns that travel-related introduction of Zika virus could initiate local transmission in the United States (U.S.) by its primary vector, the mosquito Aedes aegypti. A group of researchers (some from NASA) employed meteorologically driven models for 2006-2015 to simulate the potential seasonal abundance of adult Aedes aegypti for fifty cities within or near the margins of its known U.S. range. Mosquito abundance results were analyzed alongside travel and socioeconomic factors that are proxies of viral introduction and vulnerability to human-vector contact. The results show that meteorological conditions are largely unsuitable for Aedes aegypti over the U.S. during winter months (Dec-Mar), except in southern Florida and south Texas where comparatively warm conditions can sustain low-to-moderate potential mosquito abundance. Meteorological conditions are suitable for Aedes aegypti across all fifty cities during peak summer months (Jul-Sep), though the mosquito has not been documented in all cities. Simulations indicate the highest mosquito abundance occurs in the Southeast and south Texas where locally acquired cases of Aedes-transmitted viruses have been reported previously.
This map shows 1) Aedes aegypti potential abundance for Jan/July (colored circles), 2) approximate maximum known range of Aedes aegypti (shaded regions) and Aedes albopictus (gray dashed lines), and 3) monthly average number arrivals to the U.S. by air and land from countries on the CDC Zika travel advisory.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 22.214.171.124.0