Mosquito & Vector News

Mosquitoes are out

From Plumas County News
May 21, 2018

People encouraged to protect themselves

Mosquito season is in full swing and the insects aren’t just nuisances, they can be dangerous.

There’s a whole list of diseases they carry depending on the insect — Zika, West Nile, Malaria and others. Of course it can depend on what part of the United States or which foreign country someone visits for some, but other disease opportunities are right here in Plumas County and the state.

Mosquitoes

It seems there is a scientific reason why mosquitoes like some people and almost never bite others — it’s all in the blood. Or rather close to it.

Actually there are two main reasons why mosquitoes are attracted to some people and not others.

Sight and smell seem to have a lot to do with why a mosquito is attracted to particular humans.

Mosquitoes use their eyes to find a target, according to Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach. Especially in the late afternoon, mosquitoes are more apt to be out scouting for food.

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Ticks and mosquitoes bringing more diseases – what can we do?

From WTOP
May 21, 2018

Joyce Sakamoto, Pennsylvania State University and Shelley Whitehead, Pennsylvania State University

(THE CONVERSATION) Cases of vector-borne disease have more than doubled in the U.S. since 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported, with mosquitoes and ticks bearing most of the blame.

Mosquitoes, long spreaders of malaria and yellow fever, have more recently spread dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses, and caused epidemic outbreaks, mainly in U.S. territories. The insects are also largely responsible for making West Nile virus endemic in the continental U.S.

Ticks, which are not insects but parasitic arthropods, actually cause more disease in the U.S. than mosquitoes do, accounting for 76.51 percent of total U.S. vector-borne disease cases. These include Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever and newer diseases as well.

Why the uptick in vector-borne disease, and more importantly, how can we protect ourselves from potentially serious diseases? As researchers of these types of diseases, we have some answers.

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Mosquito-borne diseases are a real threat in California. Let’s manage the risk

From The Sacramento Bee
May 18, 2018

Since 2004, cases of disease spread by pests such as ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes have tripled nationwide. According to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, these vector-borne diseases increased in the U.S. from 27,388 in 2004 to 97,075 in 2016.

Around the world, diseases spread by mosquitoes alone kill hundreds of thousands of people each year. Here at home, we are working hard to track and control the spread of West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, chikungunya, dengue, and Zika. Vaccines simply do not exist for most of these illnesses. Vector control is the best and only preventative defense against the health threats they pose.

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Ticks carrying Lyme disease are not a major threat in Southern California – yet

From Redlands Daily Facts
May 17, 2018

With summer approaching and more people hiking or simply enjoying the Southern California sunshine, concerns about blood-sucking ticks spreading Lyme disease are real.

However, while the disease infiltrated California nearly 30 years ago, the number of cases are way below those reported in the Northeast and Midwest. Vector-borne disease experts say Lyme disease is simply not a serious problem in Southern California.  The more prevalent problems come from mosquitoes carrying Zika, West Nile, dengue fever and chikungunya which afflict hundreds of people every year, experts say.

Still, that doesn’t mean Lyme disease never will be a problem.

Prevention and early detection are part of the safety protocol extended by the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as vector control and county health departments.  Experts recommend wearing bug repellent before going outside, and performing a post-hike body check for the black, spider-like creatures that can burrow deep in the skin.

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Lab-confirmed prenatal exposure to Zika is linked to cardiac defects in infants

From UCLA
May 16, 2018

For the first time, researchers have found evidence that infants with laboratory confirmation of Zika exposure before birth have a higher prevalence of major cardiac defects compared to infants who were not exposed to the mosquito-borne virus.

Researchers confirmed in utero exposure to the Zika virus in 97 children through tests that detected the virus while their mothers were pregnant or when the infants tested positive for the virus after birth. In 23 other infants, the mothers tested positive for Zika while pregnant and the infants were found to have the virus after birth.

The researchers found that 48 babies (or 40 percent) had cardiac abnormalities. Of those, 13 infants (10.8 percent) had major cardiac defects that impacted the heart structure. None of the defects, however, required immediate surgical or medical treatment.

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Houston named one of the worst cities in the U.S. for mosquitoes

From Houston Business Journal
May 16, 2018

Houston ranked No. 7 on a recent list of the 50 U.S. cities with the most mosquitoes. Houston ranked behind Dallas, which ranked No. 2.

The list is compiled by Orkin, an Atlanta-based pest control company and subsidiary of Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL), which ranks metro areas by the number of new residential and commercial mosquito customers it has served from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.

Atlanta ranked No. 1. Other Texas cities to make the list include Austin at No. 20, San Antonio at No. 37, the Abilene area at No. 39, Waco at No. 41 and the Harlingen area at No. 50. Click here to see the full list.

Mosquito season most often comes alongside Spring temperatures, and are most active in temperatures above 80 degrees. Breeding season usually runs July through September, while peak West Nile virus season is usually not until late August through September, or even October in some areas.

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Officials show off new technology used to fight mosquitoes with Zika, West Nile

From KHOU11
May 15, 2018

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Now that the warm weather is here, Harris County officials say the perfect breeding conditions for mosquitos have arrived.

Harris County is home to 56 different kinds of mosquitoes.

At a press conference, the Harris County Office of Emergency Management showed off new technology and traps they’re using. They’ve placed nearly 500 traps at 268 sites around the county.

The county is continuing to partner with Microsoft research, using high-tech traps that can determine with infrared technology, when a a Zika mosquito has been caught or a West Nile mosquito has been caught, based on the flap of its wing. These traps can also determine the precise time the mosquitoes have been captured in the traps.

There is also a new interactive Mobile Mosquito and Vector Control Unit, which will help inform the community about mosquito born illnesses, such as Zika and West Nile virus. Dr. Umair Shah with the Harris County Health Department says the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus bite during the day. The mosquitoes that carry West Nile are considered nighttime mosquitoes.

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Bees attack 4 in CA neighborhood. One person pulled from pool in critical condition

From The Tribune
May 15, 2018

One person was severely hurt and three others have minor injuries after they were attacked by a swarm of bees in a California neighborhood on Tuesday.

When Cal Fire firefighters arrived on scene in Palm Desert just before 9 a.m., they found “multiple bees in the area,” according to a release. Two of the victims were able to safely reach medics, while another victim had to shelter in place in their home, Cal Fire said.

Firefighters pulled the fourth person out of a pool, according to Cal Fire. They were taken by ground ambulance to a hospital in critical condition. The other three bee victims declined treatment.

As of about noon, Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District staff were able to get the bees under control, Cal Fire said. Palm Desert is about 125 miles east of Los Angeles.

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Inside Brazil’s struggle to treat thousands of kids born with a Zika-linked syndrome

From Vice News
May 15, 2018

In the year since Brazil officially declared an end to the Zika outbreak, the aftermath has only just begun. An estimated 3,000 children have Congenital Zika Syndrome, the collection of neurological disorders that afflict the babies of mothers infected with Zika during pregnancy.

And Brazil is already struggling to treat them.

The most recognizable symptom of Congenital Zika Syndrome — and the first sign that this particular outbreak of Zika involved a new and unprecedentedly strong mutation of the virus — is microcephaly, or an abnormally small skull. Vanessa Van Der Linden, a pediatric neurologist who was among the first to see a link between Zika and microcephaly, says that’s now understood to be only one of many symptoms.

“The child with severe neurological damage possesses a spectrum of complications, which can be anything from impaired motor functions, eyesight, hearing problems, and arthrogryposis, which are deformities of the extremities,” Van Der Linden said. Another is epilepsy; some severely affected children have seizures every few minutes.

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West Nile Virus Prevention Requires More Than Spraying For Adult Mosquitoes

From UPR
May 14, 2018

In the next week or so, Logan city will start spraying for adult mosquitos. Residents who don’t want their property treated can contact the city to opt out.

“People are concerned any time you have any kind of chemical, regardless of how safe it may be considered. For example, we’re spraying Zenivex, which is deemed low risk by the EPA,” said Rex Davis, the forestry foreman in the Logan City Environmental Division.

Last year in Cache County, there were 14 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in humans, animals and mosquitoes. Davis says he is more concerned about the virus than possible side effects of the spray.

“I’ve seen countless studies on this product. It’s a synthetic parathyroid that’s made from chrysanthemum flowers, and there’s no side effects noted yet with Zenivex,” Davis said. “But I would take those over what I guarantee and have proof of that can hurt humans, which is West Nile Virus.”

Spraying for adult mosquitos is a very noticeable mosquito abatement effort, but not the most effective one, Davis said. One of the best ways people can help reduce the mosquito population is eliminate standing water from around their home.

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Southern Nevada Health District trying to get ahead of mosquito season

From 3 News Las Vegas
May 14, 2018

A lot of people think it is too hot and dry for mosquitoes in Southern Nevada but we do have our share.

Last year, a local man even died after contracting West Nile Virus, so the goal this year is education and prevention.

“It is nice to be outside, have a little lunch, fly a few drones, having a great day,” says Jerry Gann with Las Vegan.

Gann says it is not something he has ever thought about.

“I think life is too short for me to worry about that stuff, really,” says Gann.

Mosquitos might ruin a perfectly good day at the park. In truth he says, he has never seen a single one.

“We used to have a lot of them in Southern California, but here not anything. I have never been bitten, and I used to get bit a lot in Southern California,” states Gann.

According to the Southern Nevada Health District, there are actually 17 different types of mosquitoes in our area.

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Are you putting yourself at risk for Lyme disease?

From The Healdsburg Tribune
May 11, 2018

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Officials at the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District are reminding residents that prevention before, during and after being in tick habitat is key when it comes to protection against ticks and tick-borne diseases.

“The poppy seed-sized nymphs are active during this time of year and about 4 percent of them harbor the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease,” said Kelly Liebman, Scientific Programs Manager for the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District. “It is important to prevent bites and always check yourself and your pets for ticks after being outdoors.”

District staff conduct routine tick surveillance at various parks and public lands throughout Marin and Sonoma counties. Once collected, the ticks are tested for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. The average infection rate among adult western black-legged ticks is between 2.3 and 3 percent in any given year.

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Long Beach Health Department Launches “Remove, Report and Protect” Campaign this Mosquito Season

From The Long Beach Post
May 10, 2018

Now that temperatures are warming up and residents are already reporting mosquito activity in their neighborhoods, the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is launching the “Remove, Report and Protect” campaign during the 2018 mosquito season.

According to spokesperson Dr. Anissa Davis, last year was one of the busiest mosquito seasons on record as Aedes mosquitoes were found for the first time in Long Beach, which has the potential to transmit diseases such as heartworm and a parasitic disease that can affect both dogs and cats.

The Long Beach Vector Control Program has since confirmed the presence of Aedes mosquitoes in several different areas in Long Beach.  

“In addition to Aedes, we still have the Culex mosquitoes that transmit cases of West Nile Virus in Long Beach each year, which can cause significant illness and in rare cases can be fatal,” said Dr. Davis.

The Health Department campaign emphasizes three main messages for avoiding mosquito-borne diseases this season: remove, report and protect.

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Local vector control speak on rise of tick & mosquito-borne infections in the U.S.

From KESQ
May 9, 2019

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows the number of tick and mosquito-borne infections has surged in the country, in fact, they say it’s tripled from 2004 to 2016.

According to the CDC, in 2016 nearly 100,000 diseases were caused by bites from mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas.

“That’s something to be concerned about because when it comes to tick-borne diseases, the only prevention is mosquito control and what people are doing to protect themselves,” Jeremy Wittie, general manager of the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Wittie said his organization is doing all it can to make sure they stay ahead of the problem.

“One thing the district made a commitment to several years ago was bringing in our own lab and so last year, we tested a record number of mosquito samples. Over 5,000 samples, which has never been done before here, and that has really given our surveillance team, our public outreach time, as well as our operations team to really focus on where we need to be throughout the season to make the biggest impact on the mosquitoes that are infected,” Wittie said.

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The Deadly Viruses Being Used To Combat Incurable Cancers

From Forbes
May 8, 2018

Zika, polio and adenovirus are hardly the first trio that comes to mind when considering the ‘next big thing’ in cancer therapy. Polio alone killed over 3,000 Americans per year in the 1950s before vaccination programs and continues to ravage the developing world, while babies with severe brain deformities due to Zika are still being born in South America.

Despite this, these killer viruses may well be a surprising source of hope for those with currently incurable cancers.

The idea to use viruses as cancer therapy is not new, having been proposed in a hard-to-pinpoint time in the early 20th century, with traceable work beginning in earnest in the 1960s. My earliest experience of a cancer research lab was fifteen years ago in London, UK when I was still in high school, with a scientist studying viral therapies for pancreatic cancer. As I progressed through my education, finally becoming a cancer research scientist, I would sporadically check in on viral treatments, wondering whether much progress had been made and if anything had been approved.

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“Debug Fresno” Is Back – And It Seems To Be Working

From VPR
May 8, 2018

Summer is approaching in the San Joaquin Valley, and that means it’s not only the season for sunscreen and paletas, but also mosquitoes—something local authorities are working on. For the last two years, the Fresno area has been the site of an experimental mosquito control program. And it’s back again. Here we examine the project’s latest, scaled-up season, and why it appears to be working.

If you’re expecting the ice cream truck on these hot May afternoons, you may be disappointed if you’re one of the few neighborhoods in Fresno County where a white van rolls up each day with a cartoon insect painted on the side.

Steve Mulligan is director of the Fresno Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District, and he says this white, high-top Mercedes van is part of a project called Debug Fresno. What’s inside? Lots and lots of mosquitoes. “We are releasing male mosquitoes in 3 neighborhoods in Fresno County to implement and evaluate a new, innovative mosquito control strategy against an invasive mosquito species,” Mulligan says.

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Bug bites can carry disease, and the rate of infection has tripled. Here’s how to protect yourself

From Take Two
May 8, 2018

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had some scary news in a report released last week. Cases of illnesses spread by mosquitoes and ticks, like West Nile, Zika virus and Lyme disease tripled in the U.S. between 2004 and 2016. 

It’s a striking increase. Those are nationwide numbers, though, so we wondered just how worried we should be about those nasty little bugs here in Southern California.

SOCAL CONCERNS

West Nile virus is a year-round concern, said Kelly Middleton from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. The area sees hundreds of cases every year.

There’s a new concern for the area, though — invasive mosquito species that can carry diseases including Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses, Middleton said. 

Summer is the time when mosquitoes become a greater concern in Southern California. Higher temperatures after rain are perfect conditions to see an uptick in these bugs, Middleton said. And she did have a few tips for locals who want to avoid getting bitten or getting sick.

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Tick, mosquito borne diseases on the rise — outside of San Joaquin

From The Lodi News-Sentinel
May 6, 2018

The Center for Disease Control reported this week that cases of mosquito- and tick-borne diseases in the United States tripled from 27,388 cases in 2004 to 96,075 in 2016, for a total of 640,000 cases in that 13-year period.

San Joaquin has seen relatively few mosquito- or tick-borne diseases since 2013, according to Dr. Gordon Arakawa, assistant public health officer for San Joaquin County. No cases of yellow fever have been reported in that five-year period, he said in an email, and only two cases of Lyme disease: one in 2014 and one in 2016.

Eight cases of Zika virus have been found, Arakawa said, seven in 2016 and one in 2017. Ten cases of malaria were reported since 2013, he said, one per year from 2013 to 2015, two in 2016 and five in 2017.

West Nile virus was the most common, with eight cases reported in 2013, nine in 2014, two in 2015, 13 in 2016 and 14 in 2017, Arakawa said, although no such diseases have been reported in 2018 as of yet.

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This Woman Was Bit by a Mosquito and It Totally Destroyed Her Life — Here’s How

From CheatSheet
May 6, 2018

The focus of a lot of media coverage over the past couple of years has been mostly on the Zika virus. Understandably so, given its ferocious appetite and deadly consequences. But another virus that once captivated the headlines still wreaks havoc to this day: West Nile.

Insect-transmitted diseases like West Nile virus are on an almost uncontrollable rise across the country. Because of that, you may want to hear the story of Missy Moris; a California teacher who knows all too well the actual dangers of the disease. After her encounter with the nefarious virus, her life will never be the same.

Missy Morris used to enjoy her time outside. She enjoyed having her morning coffee on the back porch. Sometimes her and her family would have dinner out there. She often slept with the windows wide open without a screen to interfere with the air flow.

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County to Begin Treating for Mosquito Larvae

From The Times of San Diego
May 4, 2018

With temperatures rising and summer approaching, San Diego County officials announced Friday they will soon begin dropping mosquito larvicide on approximately 48 rivers, streams, ponds and other waterways.

Starting Wednesday, county Vector Control Program employees will use a helicopter to drop batches of granular larvicide on waterways about once a month during mosquito season to help protect the public from illnesses such as West Nile virus. The larvicide does not hurt people or pets, according to the county, but kills mosquitoes before they can mature.

Employees will treat more than 1,000 waterway acres stretching from Chula Vista in the south to Fallbrook in the north and from Oceanside in the west to Lakeside in the east.

The larvicide drops comprise one part of Vector Control’s yearly mosquito-control program, which includes treating potential mosquito-breeding areas by hand, giving out free mosquito-eating fish to the public, treating neglected swimming pools and testing dead birds for West Nile virus.

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Researchers Testing Vaccine for Zika Virus

From NBC DFW
May 4, 2018

What’s the deadliest creature on earth? Do sharks, crocodiles or snakes come to mind? Well, deaths from those creatures pale in comparison to mosquitoes.

Globally, mosquitoes kill more than 700,000 people a year. Researchers are now testing a vaccine that will protect people against one of those mosquito-borne diseases, the Zika virus.

Summer is just around the corner, a time for playgrounds, beaches and …mosquitoes.

“There’s a lot of mosquitoes out there and they carry a lot of diseases. They’re nasty pests,” said Sarah George, MD, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Saint Louis University.

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Here’s How Hard Increase In Mosquito-Borne Diseases Is Hitting CA

From The Livermore Patch
May 4, 2018

Ticks aren’t the only living creatures you have to worry about this summer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that mosquito-borne illnesses are on the increase in the country.

Mosquito-related illnesses have been marked by virus epidemics, including West Nile, the most commonly transmitted in the United States, according to the CDC. Overall, illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled in the country between 2004 and 2016. The report found that since 2004, nine vector-borne diseases were discovered or introduced for the first time in the United States and its territories.

The CDC said the nation needs to be better prepared to handle a potential outbreak of a vector-borne disease. CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said in a news release that diseases like Zika, Went Nile and chikungunya have confronted the U.S. in recent years, adding that the country must invest in state and local health departments, which he called the nation’s first line of defense against vector-borne diseases.

In California, between 2004 and 2016, there were 9,254 mosquito-borne disease cases, according to CDC data. California was in the top 20 percent of states for mosquito-borne diseases and had one of the highest number of disease cases. The CDC says there are indications that disease cases were substantially underreported.

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New study by Texas Biomed shows hope for Zika vaccine

From KENS5
May 2, 2018

A new study by researchers at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute shows that marmosets may be the key to a Zika virus vaccine.

Back in 2016, the World Health Organization declared the mosquito-borne virus a global health emergency. Zika was linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil and was rapidly spreading. As summer approaches, health officials at the Centers for Disease Control are warning expectant mothers to be especially vigilant.

Dr. Jean Patterson, one of the researchers at Texas Biomed, says that a possible vaccine is on the horizon with the help of pregnant marmosets. The New World monkeys from Brazil mimic a similar response to humans when they were injected with the virus. In the Texas Biomed study, researchers focused on the marmoset’s reproductive system.

“No other primates have shown to be so sensitive to Zika. We think part of it may be the large number of placenta cells that could serve as a reservoir to inoculate the fetus, and the fetus, perhaps, re-inoculating the placenta back and forth,” Patterson explained.

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Number Of People Getting Mosquito-Borne Infections Is Rising

From Houston Public Media
May 2, 2018

Texas is in the top 20% of states when it comes to the number of people getting diseases from mosquitoes, and the number of people infected by mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks has tripled in the United States since 2004. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) released a report Tuesday detailing the recent rise in cases of infectious diseases. Cases include long-known diseases, as well as nine new pathogens that have been discovered or introduced to the United States since 2004.

While the C.D.C. report covers mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, it is mosquitoes that Texans on the Gulf Coast have the most to worry about.

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Insect-Borne Diseases Have Tripled. Here’s Why.

From WIRED
May 2, 2018

THE YEAR 2004 was a simpler time to be an infectious disease doctor in the US. Zika and chikungunya hadn’t yet emerged. Mystery RNA viruses weren’t spreading by tick bite around America’s heartland, killing farmers and ranchers. Certainly no one was on the lookout for a meat allergy caused by a tick with a white splotch on its back the shape of Texas. But that was then.

Since 2004, the number of people who get diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick, and flea bites has more than tripled, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday. Between 2004 and 2016, about 643,000 cases of 16 insect-borne illnesses were reported to the CDC—27,000 a year in 2004 (the year in which the agency began requiring more detailed reporting), rising to 96,000 by 2016. At least nine such diseases have also been discovered or introduced into the US in that same timeframe. Most of them are found in ticks. Many of them are potentially life-threatening.

What’s to blame for the surge in reported cases? Warmer weather for one thing, said the agency’s director of vector-borne diseases, Lyle Petersen, during a media briefing. Warmer temperatures allow tick populations to expand into new ranges and set up disease reservoirs where none existed before. Earlier springs and later falls also extend the length of tick season, exposing more people to risks longer. And the warmer it gets, the faster mosquitoes can breed and the higher the viral loads they carry around; outbreaks tend to occur when temperatures are higher than normal.

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Merced County cracking down on neglected pools, concerned of more mosquitoes

From YourCentralValley.com
May 2, 2018

MERCED COUNTY, California – Merced County is cleaning up, especially water in neglected pools. The county’s mosquito abatement district recently found there is a large number of those pools, which are the perfect place for mosquitoes to breed.

The potential for large amounts for mosquitoes worries the district because it means more carriers for certain diseases in the county.

Technicians with the district have been wasting no time to treat water turned green. Green water means algae is growing, which means mosquito larvae are feeding.

With the help of aerial photos, the county found there are more than 1,600 neglected pools. Initially, they thought they’d only have a couple hundred based on previous numbers.

“It was all just word-of-mouth and whatever the technicians came across,” said the district’s general manager, Rhiannon Jones. “The numbers were low because it’s all just by phone calls.”

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Tick and Mosquito Infections Spreading Rapidly, C.D.C. Finds

From The New York Times
May 1, 2018

The number of people who get diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States in recent years, federal health officials reported on Tuesday. Since 2004, at least nine such diseases have been newly discovered or introduced into the United States.

Warmer weather is an important cause of the surge in cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the lead author of a study in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

But the author, Dr. Lyle R. Petersen, the agency’s director of vector-borne diseases, repeatedly declined to connect the increase to the politically fraught issue of climate change, and the report does not mention either climate change or global warming.

Many other factors are at work, he emphasized, while noting that “the numbers on some of these diseases have gone to astronomical levels.”

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Zika, Lyme drive big increase in bug-borne disease in U.S.

From NBC News
May 1, 2018

More and more Americans are being infected with diseases carried by ticks and mosquitoes, federal researchers reported Tuesday.

More than 640,000 Americans were infected by so-called vector-borne diseases between 2004 and 2016, and nine new diseases, from Bourbon virus to Zika, have shown up, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

In 2004, just 27,388 cases of these diseases were reported. In 2016, more than 96,000 were. These numbers are almost certainly an underestimate, the CDC added.

Most of the increase comes from the arrival of the Zika virus in 2015 and from ticks. Longer, hotter summers are not helping, said Dr. Lyle Petersen of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

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Mosquitoes will soon be out and about

From The Record-Bee
May 1, 2018

Spring is mosquito time in Lake County and while this year’s mosquito problem is predicted to be less than last year’s when water left over from the winter floods was everywhere, you can still take a few precautions to reduce their number.

Backyard pools are breeding grounds for several species of mosquitoes. The good news is that the county’s mosquito population can be controlled. Lake County Vector Control has several methods of controlling the insects and they are free to the county’s residents. Two of the most popular are providing mosquito fish and spraying insecticides in mosquito-infested areas.

Only the female mosquito can bite and she does so to obtain blood from the victim, which allows her to produce eggs. The female mosquito has a mouth part called a proboscis, which is like a hypodermic needle. She pierces the skin of the victim and probes around until she locates a capillary, and then she sucks the blood. She also injects some of her saliva, which stops the blood from clogging. This is the point where she can transmit a disease directly into the victim.

The male doesn’t bite. There are also only a few species of mosquitoes that present a problem for humans. Depending on the species, mosquito eggs are laid singly or in rafts either on the water’s surface or on something solid that will eventually be under water. A female mosquito deposits 50-200 eggs. In the summer, the eggs can hatch into larvae in two to three days. Only unmoving water with organic material can support developing mosquito larvae, so females lay their eggs in tree holes that fill with rainwater, in tide water pools or salt marshes, in sewage effluent ponds, in irrigated pastures, in rainwater ponds or in horse troughs. Mosquitoes also will lay eggs in backyard habitats such as unmaintained swimming pools. Any container that holds water continually for a week may be a suitable habitat for a female to lay her eggs, even pet dishes and overflow reservoirs beneath potted plants.

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SJ mosquito district warns against standing water

From Recordnet.com
April 26, 2018

STOCKTON – The San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District is asking the public to be aware of standing water around their property because it can increase the prevalence of mosquitoes.

“For mosquitoes, any standing water in large containers to plastic bottle caps is suitable for mosquito development,” district spokesman Aaron Devencenzi said in a statement. “As temperatures increase with intermittent rains, mosquito populations will begin to thrive. The District is asking people to diligently remove any standing water on a weekly basis. In addition, we are asking that daytime biting mosquitoes be reported to the District.”

Two invasive Aedes mosquito species are moving their way through California. Aedes aegypti (commonly called the yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (known as the Asian tiger mosquito) are potential carriers of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika.

Yellow fever mosquitoes are found mostly in Southern and Central areas of California and were found in September in Merced County.

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‘Breakthrough’ in mosquito-packed drones to combat Zika in Brazil

From Reuters
April 25, 2018

BOGOTA, April 25 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Millions of sterile mosquitoes will be released from drones over parts of Brazil to combat the Zika virus, after successful field tests were hailed as a “breakthrough” by the United Nations.

Once freed, the sterilized, laboratory-bred male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – which spread Zika, dengue and yellow fever by biting humans – mate with females, but do not produce viable eggs, said the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“You can reduce the mosquito population over time and suppress the next generation of mosquitoes by up to 99 percent,” said Jeremy Bouyer, an IAEA scientist.

“Before we had no way to release mosquitoes by air. But now, with the use of drones, this is a breakthrough as it allows mosquitoes to be released on a large scale and it reduces the cost a lot,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Brazil was hard hit by the 2015 to 2016 Zika epidemic, a virus linked to birth defects in thousands of babies.

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West Nile Virus Awareness Week Proclamation – 4/26/18 Open House

From San Bruno Patch
April 23, 2018

Article Source: San Mateo County Mosquito & Vector Control District & Robert Riechel

Tuesday April 10 2018 the San Bruno CA City Council presented the District with the following proclamation and San Bruno’s trustee Robert Riechel invited the Council, Staff, and Citizens to attend the 4 – 7 p.m. Open House April 28th 2018 to see the tools Operations uses and the tools the Lab uses in working to keep San Bruno and the County of San Mateo Mosquito FREE.

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Fight against Zika, dengue get boost from reliable spread of bacteria

From Phys.org
April 23, 2018

A Vanderbilt team took the next leap forward in using a little-known bacteria to stop the spread of deadly mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika and dengue.

Wolbachia are bacteria that occur widely in insects and, once they do, inhibit certain pathogenic viruses the insects carry. The problem with using Wolbachia broadly to protect humans is that the bacteria do not normally occur in mosquitoes that transmit Zika and dengue. So success in modifying mosquitoes relies on the bacteria’s cunning ability to spread like wildfire into mosquito populations.

Wolbachia do so by hijacking the insect reproductive system in a process called cytoplasmic incompatibility, or CI. This makes the sperm of infected fathers lethal to eggs of uninfected mothers. However, if infected fathers mate with infected mothers, the eggs live, and the infected mothers carrying Wolbachia will also infect all her offspring with it. Then those offspring pass on Wolbachia to the next generation, and so on, until they eventually replace all of the resident mosquitoes. As Wolbachia spreads in the population, the risk of dengue and Zika virus transmission drops.

How that sperm and egg hijacking worked in infected fathers and mothers remained a mystery for decades, until Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Seth Bordenstein and his team helped solve it. They set out to dissect the number and types of genes that Wolbachia use to spread with the long-term goal of harnessing that genetic ability for protecting humans against diseases transmission.

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Mosquito and West Nile Virus Awareness and Precautions

From The Sonoma County Gazette
April 23, 2018

The end of the late rains and beginning of warm weather is the ideal time for an increase in mosquito populations. Our vector control technicians have documented over 800 new sources of mosquito production in the October 2017 burn areas. These sources include swimming pools, spas, compromised septic systems, and depressions caused by the removal of foundations and debris.

In addition to monitoring and controlling mosquitoes in other parts of the District’s service area, vector control technicians will continue to work diligently to identify current and potential sources of mosquito production on properties impacted by the fires. Water sources found to be producing mosquitoes will be treated with environmentally compatible mosquito larvicides to control mosquito populations and minimize the potential for mosquito-borne disease transmission. The District will be leaving an informational sheet on properties where mosquito production is an issue and mosquito control is necessary.
 

Reported uptick in ticks causes concern

From The Santa Cruz Sentinel
April 23, 2018

MONTEREY >> As the weather warms and the outdoors calls, some nature aficionados on the Central Coast are reporting more ticks in fields and woodlands than usual. And with ticks come the risk of ailments like Lyme disease, among others.

“Anecdotally,” said Ken Klemme, District Manager for the Northern Salinas Valley Mosquito Abatement District, “for whatever reason, it’s been a really heavy tick year. They’re everywhere.”

According to sampling efforts from Santa Cruz County, the anecdotal uptick hasn’t been verified across the places where ticks are found. But experts recommend caution nonetheless: several local species of ticks can carry dangerous bacteria, and the best way to avoid getting sick is to avoid being bitten in the first place.

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Shasta County vet, officials warn pet owners to take mosquito precautions

From Record Searchlight
April 20, 2018

While pets are at risk for heartworm year-round, cool fluctuating temperatures gave Shasta County a slight reprieve from a primary vector of the disease.

That’s about to end.

In parts of California, including Shasta County, the western treehole mosquito is a primary cause of heartworm in cats and dogs.

“They’re fairly small and like to bite mammals,” said Peter Bonkrude, district manager at Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMVCD) in Anderson. “They’re a day biter which makes them different than most mosquitoes.”

While his team catches mosquitoes throughout the year, Bonkrude said the valley floor usually sees the western treehole emerge en mass from April to May. The western treehole doesn’t transmit human diseases as far as scientists are aware, but pets are a serious concern for his district.

“Unfortunately, heartworm is prevalent in our area,” said Leanna Niemann, office manager at Haven Humane Society. “Northern California has a pocket of a high number of cases per clinic. We’re a great environment for the mosquitoes….”

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It’s Mosquito Awareness Week in California

From Entomology Today
April 19, 2018

This week (April 17-23, 2016) is Mosquito Awareness Week in California, and mosquito-control districts are doing their best to educate the public about how to control mosquito populations.

As we move into spring and the weather gets warmer, the number of mosquitoes will increase as people begin spending more time outdoors. Mosquito Awareness Week is meant to remind everyone that just one bite can make them seriously ill, and that controlling mosquitoes early in the season makes a huge difference later on during the summer.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District even runs a “Fight the Bite” drawing contest, which awards cash prizes to students and their schools. In addition, they will donate more than 10,000 repellent wipes to local shelters that provide services to homeless residents.

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Mosquito district ramps up campaign

From Westside Connect
April 19, 2018

The Merced County Mosquito Abatement District has launched its annual campaign against the bothersome insects – which can pose health risks as well as being a warm-weather nuisance.

This year, that endeavor includes a countywide aerial survey of swimming pools to identify those which are neglected and pose the potential to be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Rhiannon Jones, the district’s general manager, told Mattos Newspapers that the aerial campaign identified 1,679 neglected pools – including 49 in the Gustine and Santa Nella areas.

Neglected swimming pools and ornamental ponds can be fertile breeding grounds for the types of mosquitoes which carry West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis Virus, Jones noted.

“This is the first time the Merced County Mosquito Abatement District has used aerial photography to assess the neglected swimming pool situation,” she commented. “The number of neglected swimming pools in our area is much higher than expected.”

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Health officials raise awareness about mosquito season

From News Channel 3
April 19, 2018

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Mosquito season is here and Riverside County health officials are telling people to be prepared, as some species are capable of transmitting infectious viruses such as zika or West Nile viruses.

“The mosquitoes are all over the county, they’re not just in the desert, they’re in the western and southern parts of the county, pretty much they’re all over,” Sharon Fortino, a nurse with the Riverside University Health System, said.

Officials are referring to the aedes aegypti mosquito. They credit a proactive vector control for keeping the population from going out of hand, helping keep the cases of the viruses low in Riverside County. Officials say currently there are no cases of West Nile right now.

The two active cases of zika in the county have come from people traveling from countries such as Mexico where the virus is more prevalent. They are asking people to take steps to prevent the spread of mosquitoes.

“if you have pots that you’re watering plants in, make sure there’s no standing water. take care of your pools,” Fortino said.

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MOSQUITO AND VECTOR CONTROL PREPARES FOR SUMMER MONTHS

From Action News Now
April 18, 2018

Shasta County, Calif.—The Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District and the California Legislature has declared April 15th through April 22nd 2018, as Mosquito Awareness Week.

District personnel has been monitoring mosquito populations, disease occurrences, and have been treating areas of standing water with mosquito control products and mosquito fish to prevent mosquito breeding.

The district has been proactive in reducing mosquito populations before they become flying adults.

In response to the growing mosquito borne threats, the District completed an expansion to their surveillance and research laboratory in 2018.

This will allow the District to better meet the needs of the area as new and emerging vectors and diseases continue to expand their boundaries.

The District already has plans to expand our surveillance network and, in the future, begin performing in-house diagnostic testing for diseases such as West Nile virus.

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FOCUS ON PREVENTION FOR MOSQUITO AWARENESS WEEK

From The Escalon Times
April 18, 2018

San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District (District) is asking the public to be aware of standing water around their property.

“For mosquitoes, any standing water in large containers to plastic bottle caps is suitable for mosquito development,” said Aaron Devencenzi, Public Information Officer with the District. “As temperatures increase with intermittent rains, mosquito populations will begin to thrive. The District is asking people to diligently remove any standing water on a weekly basis. In addition, we are asking that daytime biting mosquitoes be reported to the District.”

There are two different invasive Aedes mosquito species moving their way through California. Aedes aegypti commonly called the yellow fever mosquito and Aedes albopictus, commonly called the Asian tiger mosquito, are potential carriers of mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika. Primarily established in southern and central areas of California, Aedes aegypti were found in Merced County in September of 2017. Early detection is key. If the District is able to detect the invasive Aedes mosquitoes early, there is higher chance to contain or possibly eradicate the population.

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Mosquito warning goes out for the Central Valley

From KCRA 3
April 18, 2018

Late spring rain and warm temperatures have increased the mosquito population.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District announced Mosquito and West Nile Virus Awareness Week on April 15 to 21.

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Mosquito season means it’s time to vaccinate horses against West Nile Virus

From 3 News Las Vegas
April 18, 2018

The Nevada Department of Agriculture encourages horse owners throughout the state of Nevada to vaccinate against to the West Nile Virus.

West Nile Virus can cause severe illness to a horse’s brain, spinal cord, and nervous system.

“Vaccinations, in conjunction with practices that reduce exposure to mosquitos, are very effective in protecting horses from West Nile Virus,” says ,” Dr. JJ Goicoechea, the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture monitors the West Nile Virus yearly, and other diseases carried by mosquitos closely to protect public health and safety, and the agriculture industry.

In addition to West Nile Virus, the Animal Disease Laboratory at the Nevada Department of Agriculture tests for two other widespread arboviral diseases: Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE) Virus and Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) Virus. All three can cause severe disease and death in humans.

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CALIFORNIA FOCUSES ON MOSQUITO AWARENESS

From The Oakdale Leader
April 18, 2018

There are two different invasive Aedes mosquito species moving their way through California. Aedes aegypti commonly called the yellow fever mosquito and Aedes albopictus, commonly called the Asian tiger mosquito, are potential carriers of mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika.

With April 15 through 21 observed as Mosquito Awareness Week in California, officials are reminding residents to take care to protect against West Nile and other illnesses that can be caused by mosquitoes.

West Nile virus is endemic to most of California. Protect yourself from mosquito bites and reduce your risk of WNV infection and other mosquito-transmitted diseases by taking these precautions:

Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property that can support mosquito breeding.

Apply insect repellent containing the active ingredient DEET or Picaridin when outdoors, according to label instructions.

Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and dusk, and especially for the first two hours after sunset.

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NYC mice carry life-threatening bacteria, study finds

From The New York Post
April 17, 2018

Watch out for house mice — they could be dangerous to your health.

A new study in New York City found they carry life-threatening, disease-causing bacteria — and some may be resistant to antibiotics.

“Mice are more than just a nuisance — they are a potential source of infections. We used to think of mosquitoes as the source of just an itchy bite, but now we know they carry Zika virus and West Nile virus,” says Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Researchers collected 416 mice from residential buildings at seven sites across the city. A genetic analysis of their droppings revealed that the mice carry several gastrointestinal bacteria including C. difficile, E. coli, Shigella and Salmonella, a leading cause of bacterial food poisoning.

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Do I Still Need to Worry About Zika?

From Time Health
April 17, 2018

Warmer weather signals the onset of vacations, destination weddings and—unfortunately—mosquitoes. Since the Zika virus emerged three years ago in the Americas, cases have declined, but many people wonder if they still need to consider the mosquito-borne disease when making travel plans.

“The bottom line is yes,” says Dr. Paul Mead, a medical officer in the CDC’s division of vector-borne diseases: Americans do still need to take precautions to protect against Zika. The CDC recommends that pregnant couples who live or travel to areas with Zika (a list that currently includes countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, North America, South America and the Pacific Islands) should use condoms every time they have oral, vaginal or anal sex, or should abstain from sex altogether during the pregnancy—even if the pregnant woman’s partner does not have symptoms or feel sick. The CDC also advises against sharing sex toys. These precautions help protect against the devastating birth defects that have been linked to Zika.

But new research suggests some good news: that the window of sexual transmission for Zika may be shorter than previously thought.

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Keep Mosquitoes Away Laguna Beach: Mosquito Awareness Tips Can Save Lives, Vector Control Says

From Laguna Beach Patch
April 17, 2018

LAGUNA BEACH, CA — Mosquito Awareness was celebrated this week in Laguna Beach, Orange County and across California thanks state legislature. This is the season that breeds the bugs from wiggly larvae to the flying, sucking, stinging critters we all know and (don’t) love. In Orange County, the OC Mosquito and Vector Control District (OCMVCD) joined public health agencies throughout the state to raise awareness and educate Californians about the threat mosquitoes and vectors can pose to local communities.

“Over the last few years, Orange County has experienced an increase in cases of mosquito-borne illnesses such as the West Nile virus. Furthermore, the presence of the invasive Aedes mosquitoes threatens the county with diseases such as Zika virus, dengue fever, and Chikungunya” said Mary-Joy Coburn, OCMVCD Public Affairs Coordinator. “To ensure the protection of family, friends, and pets, it’s extremely important to make sure that residents are taking the proper steps to eliminate standing water on their properties and to control the mosquito population.”

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Time to worry about mosquitoes

From Lake Tahoe News
April 17, 2018

With this being Mosquito Awareness Week, El Dorado County health officials are reminding residents to take steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes as warmer weather approaches.

West Nile virus is primarily a disease of birds that can be transmitted to people and animals by mosquitoes. WNV is a mosquito-borne disease that can result in debilitating cases of meningitis and encephalitis, and death to humans, horses, avian species and other wildlife. In 2017, there were 536 confirmed human cases of WNV in 44 counties throughout California, with no cases in El Dorado County. Statewide there were 43 human deaths.

Pregnant women should be aware about the risks of traveling to Mexico and other countries where the Zika virus can be transmitted through mosquito bite, which can result in harm to the growing fetus.

El Dorado County vector control technicians respond to resident complaints and provide surveillance and control of mosquito sources in designated areas of the county.

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State Declares April 15-21 as Mosquito Awareness Week

From County of El Dorado
April 17, 2018

(PLACERVILLE, CA) – The California Legislature has declared April 15 through April 21, 2018 as Mosquito Awareness Week to raise awareness and educate Californians about the threat mosquitoes pose to our communities. El Dorado County health officials are reminding residents to take steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes as warmer weather approaches, both at home and when traveling out of the Country, and to be aware of the serious risks mosquitoes present to their health including West Nile, Saint Louis encephalitis, and potentially dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is primarily a disease of birds that can be transmitted to people and animals by mosquitoes. WNV is a mosquito-borne disease that can result in debilitating cases of meningitis and encephalitis and death to humans, horses, avian species and other wildlife. In 2017, there were 536 confirmed human cases of WNV in 44 counties throughout California with no cases in El Dorado County. Statewide there were 43 human deaths.

“Pregnant women should be aware about the risks of traveling to Mexico and other countries where the Zika virus can be transmitted through mosquito bite, which can result in harm to the growing fetus,” said County Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams. “Babies born to mothers infected with Zika virus can be born with microcephaly or other severe fetal brain defects. The safest thing for pregnant women or women who could become pregnant is to postpone travel to countries where Zika virus is present until after the baby is born.” For more information about Zika virus and pregnant women, Williams points people to https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/index.html

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West Nile still tops list of Solano’s mosquito-borne worries

From The Daily Republic
April 17, 2018

FAIRFIELD — Perhaps the last thing on anyone’s mind on a rainy Monday morning was the threat of mosquitoes.

However, according to the state Department of Public Health, “there has been a steep rise in detections of invasive mosquito populations in California . . . which increases the risk of local transmission of imported diseases.”

April 15-22 is Mosquito Awareness Week.

The end of the recent drought and the lifting of water restrictions also mean the return of water practices that create more mosquito habitat, the state agency reports.

“With millions of international travelers arriving or returning to California each year and the spread of these invasive mosquito species across California, the potential for local transmission of imported diseases is increasing,” David Heft, president of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California, said in a statement released Monday by the organization.

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