Asian Tiger Mosquitoes Spotted in Los Angeles Area

Apart from the West Nile virus, another viral disease could be looming in California after an unusual mosquito makes an appearance in San Gabriel Valley, located within Los Angeles County. An Asian tiger mosquito, which is usually found in tropical regions, was spotted in El Monte during a routine call to vector control. This insect can carry diseases including dengue fever.

Although authorities have yet to confirm whether these mosquitoes are carrying the dengue virus, they are not waiting around to find out as they kicked off eradication efforts. The San Gabriel Mosquito and Vector Control District has been conducting door-to-door inspection and education campaign within a quarter-mile radius from where the Asian tiger mosquito was found.

Also known as breakbone fever, dengue fever is an infectious tropical disease caused by the virus of the same name. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash similar to measles. If not treated, there is a chance the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, which results in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets, and blood plasma leakage.

This is not the first time Asian tiger mosquitoes were found in the area. These insects have been around the United States since 1985 and has been frequently found in the Southeast and Hawaii, where several outbreaks of dengue fever have been reported. This is also the first time Asian tiger mosquitoes were found in Southern California since 2001, when they were accidentally introduced in imported “Lucky Bamboo” plants.

Residents of San Gabriel Valley are urged to call vector control at (626) 814-9466 if they spot one of these mosquitoes or get bitten by a mosquito during the day.

Source: LAist

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