02/19/2016 10:29 EST

Brock University To See If Zika Virus Can Infect Native Mosquitos

TORONTO — Insect scientists at Brock University have received a shipment of Zika virus that will allow them to see whether mosquitoes native to Canada can become infected with the pathogen and potentially transmit it to humans.

The St. Catharines, Ont., university is the only academic institution in Canada with a CL3 containment lab that includes an insectary.

The high-level containment lab allows research on mosquito-borne viruses to be safely conducted.

The only other such facility in Canada is located at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

The research will be led by Fiona Hunter, a medical and veterinary entomologist who specializes in mosquitoes and other biting insects.

There has been an explosion of Zika infections in South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean since the first cases began showing up in Brazil last May.

The virus has been potentially linked to more than 4,400 cases of microcephaly in newborns born to Brazilian women who may have been infected while pregnant.

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    Read the original story: What to Pack if You're Traveling to a Zika Virus Zone by Caroline Morse, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.

    Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.