Invasive mosquitoes plunge deeper into Southern California

From the Desert Sun
September 23, 2019

Two invasive species of mosquitoes that can carry Zika, dengue, yellow fever and other dangerous viruses are spreading in California — and have been found as far north as Sacramento and Placer counties.

There are now 16 counties where Aedes aegypti, commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito, has been detected, according to the state Department of Public Health. Five of those counties have also detected Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito.

These mosquitoes, distinguished from other species because they primarily sip human blood during the day instead of at night, can spread the Zika virus, which infected more than 1 million people during an epidemic that began in 2015 in Brazil. The virus also can spread during sex.

More than 3,000 babies were born with microcephaly in Brazil during the epidemic. Microcephaly is a condition in which a baby’s head is much smaller than expected, and can occur because the baby’s brain has not developed properly.