What makes a mosquito more likely to bite you?

A Texas Zika case linked to Miami travel has state health officials warning travelers to take extra precautions. While there are a lot of things you can do, doctors say there are some things you can't control when it comes to attracting mosquitoes.

It’s common for Austinites to enjoy an afternoon beer on Rainey Street. But what if they find out that drinking beer, could possibly attract mosquitoes?

What is it about beer? Could it be the hops? Well scientists aren't really sure. Could this scare beer lovers? Some feel not.

“I will say it won't dissuade me from drinking beer that's for sure,” said Karl Carstensen.

Mosquitoes carry many diseases. The ones hitting the U.S. tend to be the West Nile Virus and now Zika. There were 108 cases here in Texas, none transmitted by a mosquito. The latest case was in El Paso.

“The patient had traveled to Miami and of course we know there's been some local transmission,” said Chris Van Deusen, spokesperson for Texas D.S.H.S.

With that threat looming, doctors urge everyone to take precautions like wearing insect repellent. But according to Smithsonian researchers, there are some weird things that can attract mosquitoes.

“Blood type O is much more susceptible to being bitten by mosquitos,” said Dr. Adam Brittain, with St. David’s Medical Center.

Being blonde, having bacteria on your skin and ankles, even what you wear are factors.

“Dark blues, blacks, reds things of that nature,” said Brittain.

Doctors say mosquitoes can smell you from a good distance. “From more than 160 feet away they pick up on the carbon dioxide."

Zika has been linked with the birth defect called microcephaly. It is known to cause a small head in babies. Testing for this is available so it is important to talk with your doctor if you are experiencing any Zika symptoms.

The symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Redness in whites of eyes

 

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