SUMMER could result in 50 cities in the US under siege by the Zzika virus, as its needle-nosed host — the aedes aegypti mosquito — marches its way north with a warmer climate.
According to computer simulations run by the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, the emerging springtime conditions will support low to moderate populations of the mosquito breed in southern US regions.
Wintertime remains too cold for the species — other than in Florida and southern Texas.
But aedes mosquitos appear happy to migrate as the weather warms.
Scientists have been studying the mosquito’s travel patterns in countries contending with Zika outbreaks.
Extrapolated to the US, the research team warns that cities in southern Florida and “impoverished” areas in southern Texas are particularly vulnerable.
But the threat doesn’t end there.
With the US experiencing abnormally warmer weather year-upon-year, the mosquito’s reach is already much further north than anticipated.
By April, the mosquito could be capable of marching into the Southeast US and some part of Arizona. By June, almost 50 cities will have the potential for moderate aedes mosquito populations, foreign media reports.