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California

Mosquito that can carry deadly disease found in San Diego

‘Yellow fever’ mosquito
A kind of mosquito that can carry a deadly disease found in tropical areas has been found in San Diego.
(U.S. Department of Agriculture)

A kind of mosquito known to spread the deadly dengue hemorrhagic fever has been found in San Diego for the first time.

Four “yellow fever” mosquitoes - formal name, Aedes aegypti - were found in offices at the 32nd Street Naval Station. Whether the mosquitoes arrived on Navy ships is unclear, according to Chris Conlan, supervising vector entomologist for San Diego County.

Navy and county vector specialists have put out traps in an attempt to catch the mosquitoes, which are small and black with white stripes and prefer to feed during the day. The public is warned to get rid of standing water.

The same kind of mosquitoes were found recently in the Los Angeles County cities of Commerce and Pico Rivera.

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“We’re hoping we caught it early,” Conlan.

The Aedes aegypti likes anything with standing water and is known to be more aggressive than California mosquitoes, Conlan said. It also can carry chikungunya, a viral disease that causes fever, severe joint pain, and a rash.

Chikungunya is found in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Indian and Pacific ocean areas. Dengue fever is found in tropical areas of Africa and Latin America.

There is no vaccine for chikungunya or dengue fever.

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