Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Asian Tiger mosquitoes that carry zika virus found in US

Published:Wednesday | August 17, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Asian tiger mosquito



A second type of mosquito that carries the Zika virus has been discovered in Mission Viejo, California, in the United States, according to a Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District official.

Asian tiger mosquitoes were found last week at a home near the corner of Olympiad and Melinda roads, Dave Leckness, a trustee with the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control, said on the weekend.

The mosquitoes were detected using several traps on the exterior of the home.

Samples were collected from the traps last week Tuesday and vector control inspectors conducted a thorough inspection of the home the following day, Leckness said.

The residents, who weren't identified, are experiencing bites and have observed mosquitoes outside and inside their home, he added.

They have been supplied with an aspirator to collect any adult mosquitoes they find and vector control inspectors are slated to place additional traps around the property.

A vector control investigation team will also be deployed to the neighborhood to determine the extent of the Asian tiger infestation, Leckness said.

"This coming week, we will treat it aggressively," he said. "We want to keep the mosquitoes out of here ... . It (Zika) frightens us."

Prior to the discovery of the Asian tiger mosquitoes, yellow fever mosquitoes, most likely to transmit the Zika virus, were found in Mission Viejo.




Yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes are not dependent on standing water to breed, unlike the mosquito that transmits West Nile virus, Jared Dever, spokesman for Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District, has said.

Mosquitoes that carry Zika can lay eggs in empty containers, such as a gardening pot, and survive for more than six months until rainfall.

Mosquitoes can only transmit the Zika virus after it bites a person who has the virus in their blood.

As of last Friday, there have been 153 travel-associated Zika virus infections in California. Los Angeles County has 34 infections; Orange County has 10; San Bernardino has seven; and Riverside County has five.

The virus poses a danger to pregnant women. Babies have been born with smaller-than-normal heads - or microcephaly - and in severe cases, brain damage.

But many people infected with Zika virus won't have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The most common are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis.

There is no specific medicine to treat Zika.