A Canadian microbiologist says while the Zika virus is new and therefore poses a threat to everyone, cases aren’t likely to pop up in Canada.
Speaking to the CJME Morning Show Thursday, Jason Tero – The Germ Guy – said the Aedes mosquito can’t survive in Canada due to our harsh winters. The mosquito spreads the Zika virus, along with dengue and yellow fever.
However, there is still a way for Canadians to spread the Zika virus.
“People can bring it here from traveling from those areas (where the Aedes mosquito is) and then possibly within a one-month area, if they have unprotected sex could transmit it to someone else.”
Zika virus first emerged in 1947 and for decades only caused a mild disease. There has been a dramatic change in recent months when it comes to pregnant women who have had disfunctions in their first and second trimesters leading to infants born with smaller brains.
“What has been seen is this very rare occurence has been happening quite a bit more often in Brazil, and it seems to be associated with women being infected with the Zika virus,” Tetro explained.
However, Tetro pointed out that there’s been no defined link between the virus and the birth defects as of yet.
The World Health Organization is holding an emergency meeting on Monday to decide if the virus outbreak should be declared an international health emergency.
Tetro says people who have travelled to destinations seeing cases of Zika virus should watch for symptoms of a red, bumpy rash. He also explained that women who contract the virus and wish to get pregnant in the future should be able to eventually do so without any danger to their baby.
“It’s understood that women who have had the virus and let it pass through their system, they have successful pregnancies.”
With files from the Canadian Press.