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Forget West Nile Virus, Asian Tiger Mosquitoes Could Carry Dengue

Photo by Melinda Fawver via Shutterstock
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A rare tropical mosquito making an appearance in the San Gabriel Valley has authorities worried.

Last week, an Asian tiger mosquito was spotted in El Monte during a routine call to vector control. The rare mosquito can carry with it some pretty nasty diseases, including dengue or yellow fever.

So far authorities haven't found out if these mosquitoes are carrying those diseases, but they're not waiting around to find out. They're kicking off an immediate eradication effort. Today the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District will be conducting a door-to-door inspection and education campaign within a quarter-mile radius of the infestation site.

This isn't the first time Asian tiger mosquitoes rolled into town, the Pasadena Star-News reports:

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The mosquito was first introduced to the U.S. in 1985 and has firmly established itself in the Southeast and Hawaii, where it has caused several outbreaks of dengue, Middleton said.
This is the first time the mosquitoes have been seen in Southern California since 2001, when they were accidentally introduced in imported "Lucky Bamboo" plants.
Middleton said it is not yet clear if the mosquitoes found in El Monte were reintroduced, or if they escaped efforts to eradicate the 2001 infestation.

If you spot one of these pests or get bitten during the day when Asian tiger mosquitoes feast, vector control wants you to call them at (626) 814-9466.