Canada has issued a travel advisory to residents of the Prairies, Manitoba, Yukon and Alberta, saying mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus could be transmitting the virus to humans.
The advisory was issued Monday, ahead of a planned start of the second half of the first phase of the trial of the Zika vaccine, which has been in the works for two years.
The country’s Health Canada website lists mosquitoes with the Zika vector as well as those carrying the flavivirus.
The Zika virus can be transmitted via blood, saliva or vaginal secretions, as well, according to the Canadian mosquito control agency.
The Canadian Mosquito Control Agency said it will distribute vaccine and mosquito repellent to residents.
Mosquitoes with the flavival virus, known as flaviviruses, can be passed through bites or skin contact.
It said mosquitoes carrying this virus may transmit the virus, even if they do not show symptoms.
The agency said it would also distribute vaccine for residents in areas where mosquitoes are present and in regions where people are living with the virus.
Residents of Ontario, Quebec and Alberta will not be required to take part in the trial, the agency said.
The province’s health minister, Deb Matthews, said in a news release Monday that Ontario has already seen a decline in the number of people with fever and other symptoms, but there is no specific guidance on what people should do about mosquitoes that carry the flavivals virus.
“Ontario has seen a significant drop in the numbers of people who have fever, including the decrease of the number who have mild fever,” she said.
Matthews added that Ontario is also working with health authorities in other provinces to develop a vaccine that could be administered to the general population, but she declined to specify which provinces are working on that effort.
The release also said Ontario will continue to monitor local mosquito populations.
It’s not clear how many people have been infected with the disease, which is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.
A person who has been infected can be contagious for about three weeks after they become ill.
If a person has been exposed to a mosquito with the Ebola virus, the virus can cause a severe neurological illness, or a death.
People with Zika virus symptoms should seek medical attention if they become infected, according the government’s website.
The World Health Organization on Tuesday issued a report that says the number one risk to the global population is mosquito breeding.
The report, prepared by researchers from the University of California, San Diego, said Zika is one of the top threats to global population growth.
It found that the virus has been spreading quickly across Latin America and Africa, and in some parts of Asia, where it’s also been spreading.
There are two ways to detect the virus: by measuring the presence of the virus in blood or saliva, or by detecting it in an infected person’s blood or sweat.
The WHO said the current vaccine, approved in Brazil, is working.