Press Release From Merced County MAD
September 25, 2017
MERCED, CA– The Merced County Mosquito Abatement District identified Aedes aegypti, also known as the yellow fever mosquito, in the city of Merced (zip code 95340). This mosquito is capable of transmitting several human diseases, including dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika. This mosquito is not native to California and is the first detection in Merced County. Since 2013, Aedes aegypti has been detected in 13 other California counties, primarily south of Merced.
The Merced County Mosquito Abatement District is working with the California Department of Public Health in addition to the Merced County Public Health Department to evaluate the extent of the infestation and will aggressively target problem areas to prevent its spread. These efforts will include door-to-door inspections of residential properties for standing water where mosquitoes can breed, increased surveillance through trapping, eliminating mosquito breeding sources, larval control, and ultra-low volume adulticiding (fogging) as necessary to target the invasive mosquitoes. Fogging will begin immediately in the infestation area.
“Our goal is to mitigate the spread of these invasive mosquitoes to other areas of Merced or the county at large. Having Aedes aegypti in our District is very concerning as it is an efficient vector in spreading Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses,” said Rhiannon Jones, General Manager of Merced County Mosquito Abatement District. While these viruses are not currently transmitted in California, they are periodically introduced by international travelers. If a large population of Aedes aegypti is established in the area, a single travel-associated case of one of these diseases could introduce the virus to local mosquitoes, and Merced County residents could be at risk of becoming infected.