Zika Virus Not Great Enough Threat, But Mosquitoes Are

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Poole explains the FestPac delegates should not be treated any differently from the many visitors who already come to the island.

Guam – With an earlier outbreak of the Zika Virus in Yap and with the upcoming Festival of the Pacific Arts, it’s still not a great enough threat to Guam, according to Guam Territorial Veterinarian Dr. Thomas Poole.

 

Moreover, Poole says the threat of the Zika Virus coming to Guam is greatly exaggerated. In fact, he says, there’s not much to worry about unless delegates from the neighboring islands bring in a certain species of mosquitoes along with them. On Guam, we only have the Asian tiger mosquitoes, which Poole explains are weak in transmitting diseases. However, the Yellow fever mosquitoes, which are found within the region, are what he calls heavy weight champions for carrying diseases including the Chikingunya virus and the Zika virus.

He explains, “Our neighbors do have these ones. This is my great fear about Fest Pac is the mosquitoes come in and they contain them. We have our best people being careful about these. These mosquitoes have proven capable of breeding with a bottle cap of water. They like clean water, they don’t need a lot of it. So we have to be careful about these coming in here from some of our neighbors. If get these mosquitoes, it’s just a matter of time until we get everything else.”
 
Poole explains the FestPac delegates should not be treated any differently from the many visitors who already come to the island.