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Spotted In California: Mosquitoes That Can Carry Dengue And Yellow Fever

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(Photo by thanapun via Shutterstock)
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These mosquitoes aren't your run-of-the-mill blood suckers. Central Valley is the latest Californian locale to receive an alert that dangerous mosquitoes capable of carrying dengue and yellow fever have been found. Last week, they were detected in Fresno, in San Mateo County in August, and first seen in the Central Valley cities of Madera and Clovis back in June, Associated Press reported. Officials have been issuing warnings on efforts to wipe out the problem.

Different from other mosquitoes, they belong to the Aedes aegypti species and are identified by a dark color, snowy polka-dot markings, and white-banded legs. In addition, they enjoy feasting on people more than animals and do it in the daytime versus the other nighttime mosquitoes. It only takes a teaspoon of water for them to lay eggs to reproduce. That's a little unnerving.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

"It could change the way we live in California, if we don't stop it," said Tim Phillips of the Fresno Mosquito and Vector Control District. "Imagine not feeling safe to sit out in your backyard in the afternoons."
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However, on a positive note, the pests have not been seen in Los Angeles. About 200 Californians have been infected with dengue fever since 2010, Associated Press reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies. The pests that were trapped in a two-square-mile radius in Clovis were not detected as carrying any diseases. The main concern is if the mosquitoes bite someone who has dengue fever and spreads it in California—something that surfaced in Florida in September, according to NPR.

"It requires everyone's help: Turn over plant saucers, wash out dog bowls, remember this mosquito can lay eggs even in the cracks of cement if water is left there for a couple of days," warns Leonard Irby, manager of Madera Mosquito and Vector Control District, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Dengue fever is characterized by fevers, skin rashes, headaches, and joint and muscle pains, while yellow fever causes fevers, nausea, and jaundice in the worst-case-scenario.