The deadly dengue fever mosquito has surfaced in the San Diego, California area. The dengue hemorrhagic fever mosquitoes are also known as yellow fever mosquitoes. Most of the viruses the insect can spread are native to Central America and Mexico.
The dengue fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) were found in an office building on the 32nd at San Diego’s Street Naval Station, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Dengue fever mosquitos were also reportedly discovered in the Los Angeles area counties of Pico Rivera and Commerce earlier this month.
The mosquitoes from Central America and Mexico are also known to transmit the chikungunya virus in addition to dengue fever. The disease which produces paralyzing joint pain has reportedly ravaged portions of Latin America, Africa, and Central America. The Chikungunya virus is a mosquito-borne illness that prompts intense pain and high fevers, and it is also spreading in Canada and Mexico. Patients ill with the virus are now present in nearly 20 countries. There is no cure.
The vast majority of the Chikungunya virus cases in the United States have occurred in Florida. The virus is believed to have been spread from individuals who became ill while traveling outside of the country and by immigrants. The dengue fever and Chikungunya virus mosquitoes are also believed to have been carried into the United States on clothing, baggage, liquids, and food. The massive influx of illegal immigrants crossing into California and Texas during the summer months may have contributed to the presence of insects in America now. Although the dengue fever mosquitoes have only been recorded in California, the insects could also now present in other border or high-travel areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) it is only a matter of time before the dangerous virus impacts native mosquitoes. Traps have been placed in the impacted areas in an attempt to catch the potentially deadly mosquitoes. Residents and businesses located in the San Diego and Los Angeles area have been warned to remove any standing water. This particular type of mosquito is known to be “very aggressive” in its behavior.
A World Health Organization (WHO) global alert recently released concerning Dengue fever says, “The disease was originally imported into the Americas from Africa but became widely established there.” The female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a single time. The clutches of eggs are typically laid on the surface as stagnant water and can hatch just 1-inch of standing water.
What do you think about the dengue fever mosquitoes found in the United States?
[Image via: U.S. Department of Agriculture]