Disease-spreading mosquito could be coming soon

From the Monterey Herald
November 14, 2022

PAJARO VALLEY – From the lip of an overturned bottle cap, an Aedes aegypti mosquito — striped like a zebra — deposits eggs into the tiny puddle within.

The eggs may dry out for up to eight months. They may weather winter nights in the meager shelter of a garage. And yet, as soon as water rehydrates them, they will hatch into adults capable of spreading dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

Though none of these viruses are currently transmitted in California, the mosquito has arrived in Santa Cruz County. Officials still see a path to temporary eradication, but if the experiences of scientists and other counties hold any lessons, A. aegypti may prove impossible to keep out indefinitely.

The mosquito has yet to show up in Monterey County, which recorded its most recent dengue and Zika cases in 2019 and 2017, respectively. But with only four technicians, Monterey’s Mosquito Abatement District would have a tough time checking yards and setting traps for invasions across the county — making prevention paramount.

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