URI researcher: Rhode Islanders shouldn’t worry about Zika

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SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders have little to fear from the Zika virus, according to a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Rhode Island.

Jannelle Couret, who studies mosquitoes, said Tuesday that Zika isn’t a major threat to Rhode Island.

Couret said the type of mosquito that carries the virus, Aedes aegypti, isn’t anywhere near New England. The closest it’s been found to Rhode Island is at least 1,400 miles. Couret also notes that Zika is not airborne, and thus cannot spread as easily as the cold or flu.

Several Zika cases have turned up in other states, including Massachusetts. However, health officials say many of those infected had traveled to areas where Zika-carrying mosquitoes are widespread.

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