Deadly Mosquitoes in California
By: Maggie MIller
Mosquitoes attack California
Unusually aggressive mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases have been found in many parts of California, including Los Angeles and Orange counties, health officials warn.
The two invasive species of mosquitoes spotted in California — the Asian tiger and yellow fever mosquito — can transmit infectious diseases, including dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever.
“There is no vaccine or treatment for chikungunya or dengue fever,” California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Karen Smith said in a statement. “To prevent these diseases from becoming established in California, it is important for everyone to take steps to keep these mosquitoes from spreading.”
Chikungunya, which causes fevers and severe joint pain, is typically seen only in Africa and Southeast Asia though, recently cases have been reported in Mexico, Latin America, and Florida. Dengue fever, which causes severe headaches, fevers, and pain, is usually found only in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Central America. Both diseases can be fatal.
Smith said that although the risk of contracting these diseases in California remains low, infected travelers who come to the state and are bitten by mosquitoes can lead to the spread of the disease.