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mosquitoes

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in people this year.
2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg Mosquito bites are a part of Canadian living. Usually, the only consequence of an unwanted invasion is an itchy welt. However, over the last decade, the consequences have become significantly greater due to the emergence of several viruses.
There are many welcome hallmarks to summer, such as the longer days and pleasant temperatures. Yet, summer also brings unwanted risks like damaging storms, oppressive heat waves, forest fires, and drought. One of the least favoured recurrences is the rise in mosquito populations and the potential for West Nile Virus infection.
2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg A recent study undertaken by scientists in Ethiopia came to a startling conclusion: Chickens seemed to be immune to mosquitoes, showing fewer bites than any other animal. So the question is, of course: Why? And can that be replicated in humans? The answer isn't quite so straightforward.
Only about 20 per cent of people who are infected with Zika actually experience any symptoms. The rest have no idea they were ever infected with it at all... Fever, rash, nausea, joint and muscle pain, headaches and redness of the eyes are all signs of a Zika infection. The only way to know for sure, though, is by getting a blood test.
This year, the World Health Organization is calling on the global community to "end malaria for good" by lowering the global malaria burden over the next 15 years, and reducing malaria death rates by at least 90%. We still have a long way to go, but the end of the malaria epidemic may finally be in sight, and could even be achieved within our lifetime.
So far, no case of Zika has been contracted in Canada. But some people wonder if that might change. At first blush, this question seemed silly, especially when asked in the middle of a cold Canadian winter. But winter is receding and some people in Hamilton who know what they are talking about are asking that very question. Could Zika come to Canada?
The Zika virus has captured the attention of the international community because thousands of babies are being born with underdeveloped brains to women who were infected with Zika during their pregnancy. Should Canadians be worried? For now, WHO says no, because our country doesn't harbour the mosquito types that spread the disease, aedes aegypti and albopictus. But Canadians shouldn't be too complacent about the spread of the virus. Here's why.