Mosquitoes that can transmit the Zika virus have been found to live in nearly all U.S. states, according to maps released this week by authorities trying to assess the public health threat.
The maps show the two breeds of virus-carrying mosquitoes, the yellow fever and the Asian tiger mosquito, can live in the nation’s northernmost states of Michigan, New Hampshire, Washington state and Minnesota, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Zika, which has been linked to numerous cases of the birth defect microcephaly in Brazil, has spread rapidly in Latin America and the Caribbean. Microcephaly is marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies.
In the United States, Zika has only been found in the territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The mosquitoes, whose scientific names are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, were concentrated most heavily in the U.S. Southeast and Southwest, according to the CDC maps that break each state down to its individual counties.