Mosquito & Vector News

Getting Eaten Alive By Mosquitoes? Here’s All You Ever Needed to Know

From NBC Los Angeles
July 20, 2019

It’s that time of year again: it’s time for barbecuing, basking in the sun, and of course, fending off annoying bites from mosquitoes. 

What’s worse, in Southern California, is the presence of an aggressive ankle-biter mosquito that will bite multiple times, and doesn’t wait for dusk — they’ll attack right in the middle of the day, or even inside your house. That’s atypical mosquito behavior, at least for the kinds that are native to Southern California. 

If you’ve noticed you’ve suddenly been bitten multiple times around your ankles, you were likely victim to the Aedes mosquito, which officials believe arrived on a container ship from Asia. It’s an invasive species, meaning not native to Southern California, and fueled by bloodlust (basically). And they have the potential to carry harmful diseases, like in the case of one 74-year-old Imperial County man who died after contracting West Nile virus, which was the first person to die of the virus in California in 2019. 

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Science bites back . . . Chinese trial wipes out 99% of deadly mosquitoes

From The Times
July 19, 2019

Chinese scientists say they have almost eradicated a virus-carrying mosquito from two islands by releasing infected males into the population.

It is hoped that the study will give officials new tools to fight diseases such as dengue fever and zika.

Asian tiger mosquitoes were exposed to gamma radiation and infected with strains of a parasitic bacterium, according to the journal Nature. Two hundred million of the infertile insects were released on the islands of Shazai and Dadaosha in southeast China.

Female mosquitoes only mate once, so if the male is infertile she will not reproduce. At the end of the two-year trial the native mosquito populations were largely gone.

The work “almost eliminated a notoriously difficult-to-control vector mosquito from the test sites”, Peter Armbruster, a…

West Nile virus found in mosquitoes in Long Beach

From Fox LA
July 19, 2019

 – Mosquitoes collected in Long Beach have tested positive for West Nile virus. It’s the first detection of the virus this year in the county, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District announced Friday. 

“West Nile virus is endemic in Los Angeles County. When temperatures increase, so do mosquito populations and disease risk, which pose a serious public health threat for our communities,” said Susanne Kluh, director of scientific-technical services at the district.

According to the district, West Nile virus activity has been increasing steadily throughout California this year.

West Nile is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms from contracting the disease can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or a skin rash, according to the department. The symptoms can last for several days to months.

“Our agency will continue monitoring virus activity and controlling mosquitoes in affected areas,” said Anais Medina Diaz, public information officer for the district. “But it is very important residents take precautions in their own communities by wearing insect repellent and frequently removing standing water to eliminate mosquito sources.”

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Officials work to tackle mosquitoes in Elk Grove

From KCRA 3
July 19, 2019

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District said it’s received several calls from neighbors concerned about the mosquito population.

Jax, 9, was playing soccer Tuesday when the mosquitoes started going after him.

“These mosquitoes were going by my shin guard and my socks,” Jax said, pointing to the back of his leg. “Then one by one, they kept coming towards me.”

The bites started swelling and his skin turned red. His mom blamed the mosquitoes for the problem and took her son the doctor the next day.

“It was blistering, and (the doctor) didn’t want it to pop or anything,” his mother Jennifer said. “(The doctor) said to just air it out. She gave us some antibiotics to take and then some ointment for his legs.”

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Protect your kids and yourself from bug-borne diseases like Lyme

From Baby Center
July 18, 2019

Tick-borne diseases, in particular, have skyrocketed in the past few years. Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take to lower the risk of bug bites. These include:

  1. Wear repellent: Use EPA-registered insect repellent if you’re in an area with mosquitos or ticks. Check to make sure that the repellents you use are safe for your child.
  2. Avoid tick habitats: Wooded areas, leaf-covered ground, and places with tall grass are popular with these blood-sucking insects. If you do venture into these locations, wear long pants and check your body and clothing for ticks afterward, and take a shower. Regularly check for ticks on your pets as well.
  3. Wear loose, long-sleeved clothing: Light-colored, tightly woven clothing that covers the arms and legs can help protect you and your children from mosquito bites.
  4. Use screen doors and windows: Repair any tears in your screens at home, and stay in lodgings that have screens or air conditioning to keep mosquitos at bay.
  5. Control bugs around your home: Empty all containers of water, such as buckets and birdbaths, so they don’t become a breeding ground for mosquitos. Remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around homes and children’s play areas to help reduce tick populations.
  6. International travelers should be especially alert to bug-borne disease risks in their destination country and take appropriate safety measures. You can use this interactive search tool to check for health warnings by country, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It includes search options specific to pregnant women and families traveling with kids.

Of course, the above suggestions are no guarantee against a bite. And no one is immune. Americans from every state have contracted illnesses from bug bites. 

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Officials In Fresno County Alert People About Possible Spread of West Nile Virus

From the International Business Times
July 17, 2019

he officials of Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District in Fresno County, California, have alerted people in the region about a possible spread of West Nile Virus.

The officials found 46 Culex mosquitoes carrying potentially serious viruses. While 43 of the dangerous mosquitoes carried West Nile virus, the rest of them had St. Louis encephalitis.

“Every year it’s here, so even though we do surveillance, we’re always collecting West Nile virus mosquitoes in this area,” abc30 quoted Katherine Ramirez, who is with the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District.

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46 mosquitoes with serious viruses found in Fresno County

From ABC 30
July 16, 2019

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — The West Nile virus has not made any humans sick in Fresno County this year, but the potential for infections is growing.

West Nile virus arrived in Fresno County in 2004 and the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District has stayed busy ever since.

“Every year it’s here, so even though we do surveillance, we’re always collecting West Nile virus mosquitoes in this area,” said Katherine Ramirez with the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District.

Employees go to ponding basins and neglected swimming pools and use fish or larvicide to control the mosquito population.

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Mosquito discoveries put bite on fresh flowers at Visalia Cemetery

From the Visalia Times Delta
July 12, 2019

The Visalia Public Cemetery District is asking people not to bring fresh flowers to the cemetery after health officials found mosquitos that can carry West Nile and other viruses in standing water containers. 

On June 19, Delta Vector found invasive mosquitoes in three out of four samples at the cemetery. 

Delta Vector is the testing agency tasked with placing traps and identifying West Nile across Tulare County. 

After getting the mosquito news, the cemetery district hired a temporary crew to turn over flower vases and containers to eliminate standing water.

That temporary crew worked 135 hours over seven days to complete this project, cemetery managers said. 

The cemetery is close to 50 acres in size and there are more than 45,000 graves. 

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Mosquitoes test positive for deadly West Nile virus near Florin area in Sacramento County

From the Sacramento Bee
July 11, 2019

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District reported Wednesday that, for the first time this year, a mosquito sample collected within the two-county district has tested positive for West Nile virus.

This particular sample was collected near the Florin area of south Sacramento County, officials said, and the news did not come as a surprise to them because a dead bird tested positive for the disease last week near Elverta in north Sacramento County.

“As we expected, after finding the first positive bird … we are finding virus in the mosquito populations, “ said Gary Goodman, the district manager. “With the very warm weather expected over the next few days, we expect (West Nile virus) activity to quickly ramp up.”

Luz Robles, the district’s public information officer, said cool weather this year likely has helped to keep mosquito activity low. By this time in 2018, there was more activity because temperatures were high.

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UCR Researchers to Target Mosquito Egg Production to Curtail Disease

From Pest Control Technology
July 11, 2019

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Entomologists at the University of California, Riverside have received a five-year grant of $2.44 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, to investigate the role hormones play in the female mosquito’s ability to use human blood for egg production.
Vector mosquitoes need vertebrate blood to develop each batch of their eggs. As a result, reproduction in female mosquitoes is closely linked to blood feeding. The NIAID funding — a competitive National Institutes of Health grant renewal — will allow the entomologists to introduce novel research tools for genetic manipulation, such as CRISPR, in their exploration of the genetic basis for the hormonal control of mosquito reproduction.
“A clear understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating egg development in mosquitoes can play a critical role in our coming up with innovative and novel vector control methods,” said Alexander Raikhel, a distinguished professor of entomology who will lead the project along with Sourav Roy, an assistant professional researcher who received his doctorate at UCR and joined the Raikhel lab in 2011.

Mosquito Spraying Continues In Coachella Valley

From the Palm Desert Patch
July 9, 2019

COACHELLA VALLEY, CA — With potentially deadly mosquito-borne viruses continuing to be detected in the Coachella Valley, vector control officials will carry out additional pesticide spray applications Tuesday.

The total number of positive samples for West Nile virus in the Coachella Valley so far this year is 284 — more than the last four years combined, Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District spokeswoman Tammy Gordon said. Mosquitoes carrying St. Louis encephalitis virus have also been detected.

Both illnesses are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. There have been no reported human cases of either illness in the region this year.

Most infected people will have no symptoms, but others can develop fever, headaches, and body aches, Gordon said. Hospitalization is required in some cases, and in rare cases the diseases can be fatal.

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Salton Sea man dies from West Nile virus. Death was first in California this year from virus

From the Desert Sun
July 9, 2019

An Imperial County resident died from West Nile virus, a county health official confirmed Tuesday morning.

He was the first person to die of West Nile virus in California this year. Imperial County Public Health Department officials haven’t released specific details about the patient, but his daughter told The Desert Sun his name was Robert Mears, 74, and he died July 4 at University of California, San Diego Medical Center. 

Mears started feeling ill shortly after his birthday on June 11 and believed he suffered from a cold. Mears “was a trooper” and continued his daily routine until his condition worsened and he was admitted to Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Brawley, said daughter Doree Grindell of San Diego. He later moved to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs before relocating to San Diego, where he died.

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More mosquito spray applications planned this week

July 8, 2019

With potentially deadly mosquito-borne viruses continuing to be detected in the Coachella Valley, vector control officials are planning to carry out further pesticide spray applications this week.

The total number of positive samples for West Nile virus in the Coachella Valley so far this year is 284 — more than the last four years combined, Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District spokeswoman Tammy Gordon said. Mosquitoes carrying St. Louis encephalitis virus have also been detected.

Both illnesses are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. There have been no reported human cases of either illness in the region this year.

Most infected people will have no symptoms, but others can develop fever, headaches, and body aches, Gordon said. Hospitalization is required in some cases, and in rare cases the diseases can be fatal.   

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‘Early warning sign’ of West Nile virus: First bird tests positive in Sacramento County

From the Sacramento Bee
July 8, 2019

The first bird of the season has tested positive for West Nile virus in Sacramento County, and officials said they are on alert for the mosquito-borne disease that killed 11 people and infected more than 200 in California last year.

A yellow-billed magpie found dead last week near Elverta in north Sacramento County tested positive for the virus, the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District confirmed Monday in a news release.

“Finding the first positive bird is always significant because it provides an early warning sign for the disease,” said Gary Goodman, manager of the district, which covers Sacramento and Yolo counties. “It confirms that the virus is present, provides a good indication of where we may find positive mosquito samples and where human cases may develop later in the season.”

Other California counties have started to register activity, too, according to the California West Nile virus website “Fight the Bite.” Possibly the first reported human case of West Nile in the state was confirmed near Modesto this June. This year, 471 mosquito samples from 10 counties have tested positive for the virus. Monday afternoon, the latest mosquito sample collected in Olivehurst in Yuba County also tested positive.

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West Nile virus found in Chino Hills

From Champion Newspapers
July 6, 2019

Mosquitoes collected near Torrey Pines Drive and Los Serranos Country Club Drive in Chino Hills June 25 and 28 have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

It is the first indication this year of a positive testing, said Brian Reisinger of the West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The mosquitoes could have been caught up to a one-mile radius around the trap location, Mr. Reisinger said.

He advises the community to dump out standing water near their homes, wear repellent outdoors, and call the District if they have mosquitoes, at 635-0307.

The District regularly traps and tests mosquitoes to check for the virus, he said.

Officials warn that in the summer, water that sits for longer than 48 hours such as in planter pots, birdbaths, and pet water bowls, can have enough algae and bacteria to support larvae development.

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A deadly fungus is killing millions of bats in the U.S. Now it’s in California

From the Los Angeles Times
July 5, 2019

A mysterious fungus that has killed millions of bats in the eastern United States and left caves littered with their tiny carcasses has arrived in Northern California and appears poised to spread throughout the state, according to officials.

Government biologists confirmed Friday that a number of bats found near Lassen Volcanic National Park had tested positive for the germ that causes white-nose syndrome—a relatively new disease that leaves a trademark smudge of white on the infected animal’s muzzle.

The illness, which is caused by a cold-loving fungus, appeared suddenly in the Northeast just over a decade ago and has moved steadily west. The fungus has devastated North American bat species in some regions and pushed the natural pest controllers toward extinction.

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Mosquitoes in Ventura County test positive for West Nile Virus

From ABC 7
July 3, 2019

VENTURA COUNTY (KABC) — Health officials are on alert after mosquitoes in Ventura County tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The California Department of Public Health says this was the first mosquito sample of 2019 to test positive for the disease.

To minimize your exposure to West Nile Virus, experts recommend removing standing water from your property and make sure you have tight-fitting screens on windows and doors.

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The Zika Virus Is Still a Threat. Here’s What Experts Know.

From the New York Times
July 2, 2019

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Remember Zika?

With measles and Ebola grabbing headlines, it is easy to forget the health panic of 2016, when Zika was linked to severe birth defects in thousands of Brazilian newborns whose mothers were infected while pregnant, striking fear across the country and much of the Americas.

As health officials struggled to halt its spread, the virus galloped through Latin America and the Caribbean that spring and summer and eventually reached the United States, sickening more than 200 people in Florida and Texas and prompting countless travelers to cancel vacations in the tropics.

Then, seemingly overnight, the epidemic evaporated and public attention moved on.

But Zika, it turns out, did not vanish.

“Zika has completely fallen off the radar, but the lack of media attention doesn’t mean it’s disappeared,” said Dr. Karin Nielson, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at U.C.L.A. who studies Zika’s impact in Brazil. “In some ways, the situation is a bit more dangerous because people aren’t aware of it.”

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SKEETER TROUBLE: Sorting out the main concerns posed by mosquitoes in Oklahoma

From the Stillwater News-Press
July 1, 2019

Mosquitoes continue to be the foe of the summer with wet and stormy conditions continuing throughout the year. Because of increased wet conditions, an increase of mosquitoes in the area may be noticed.

Mosquitoes not only carry the fear of being bitten and having itchy, red bumps everywhere, they also carry the fear of having dangerous and sometimes deadly pathogens with them. But which ones do we actually need to be concerned about?

Dog Heartworm

Dog Heartworm is mainly transmitted in Oklahoma by the Asian Tiger Mosquito, a day-biting mosquito, meaning your dog is still likely to be infected during the day, not just at dawn or dusk.

Symptoms of Dog Heartworm may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure and the appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen.

West Nile Virus

The Culex mosquito is the mosquito that primarily carries West Nile Virus. These mosquitoes bite in the early mornings and evenings, but using insect repellent containing DEET at these times cause help reduce your chances of acquiring West Nile virus.

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US Government Makes 2nd Zika Investment

From Precision Vaccinations
July 1, 2019

July 1st, 2019 – The accurate and rapid diagnosis of infectious disease can lead to greater control of communicable diseases, such as the Zika virus. 

While there have not been any locally-acquired Zika cases in the continental USA reported in 2019, the US Territory of Puerto Rico has reported 18 Zika cases acquired through presumed local mosquito-borne transmission, as of June 6, 2019. 

Since the Zika virus has been linked to serious birth defects, there is a critical need for Zika diagnostics to empower front-line clinicians with point-of-care data to make more informed decisions. 

Receiving test results in minutes will enable better deployment of localized resources during outbreaks. 

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West Nile Present in State but No Infections Reported Yet

From the Santa Barbara Independent
June 29, 2019

No human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in 2019, and the California Department of Public Health hopes to keep it that way as warmer weather arrives amid the spring drizzle. “West Nile virus activity in the state is increasing,” said State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith, “so it is important to take every possible precaution to protect against mosquito bites.” The state’s “fight the bite” tips include draining standing water, being aware of mosquitoes in the early morning and evening, and using insect repellent.

Effective versions of repellent block the mosquitoes’ ability to “smell” you, rather than killing the bugs, the health department said in a press release. Among them are EPA-registered repellents like DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 (aka ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate). (See here for more.) The carriers, most often the common Culex mosquito, are active early in the morning and in the evening.

If infected, symptoms in humans range from fever to central nervous system effects, such as encephalitis or meningitis. No vaccine or antiviral medication is available. Mosquito traps in seven counties – Riverside, Fresno, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kern, and San Bernardino – reported a total of 220 disease-carrying mosquitoes this year.

Dead birds are often the first indicators of the presence West Nile, and birds and mosquitoes are known to transmit the virus back and forth. Three counties have so far reported five infected wild birds: San Joaquin, Orange, and San Diego. Sentinel chickens, or flocks of hens kept for testing purposes, have so far come up negative for West Nile virus. Dead birds should be reported at the state’s West Nile site.

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FDA approves diagnostic test for Zika virus

From News Mono
June 29, 2019

The U.S. Drug and Food Administration has affirmed a new diagnostic test to help identify the Zika virus.

The test was affirmed half a month back. It’s intended to recognize antibodies delivered by the body’s immune system when it tests for the Zika virus infection in the blood.

As per the FDA, the diagnostic test is for utilize just in patients with clinical signs and Zika virus symptoms.

Symptoms can include muscle aches, fever, and joint pain.

Dr. Stephen Ramirez, with Stone Oak Family Practice, said the test will make a huge difference in the long run for patients.

“We finally have an FDA approved test for what we call the IGM Molecule or antibody for Zika. We are going to know a bit sooner and we can treat it a little bit sooner too. We didn’t have that before. When the second case (was) here in San Antonio a few years ago, I had to send my case to the CDC and it look me at least 2 months to find out if my patient had zika,” said Dr. Ramirez.

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Controlling deadly malaria without chemicals

From UC Riverside News
June 28, 2019

Scientists have finally found malaria’s Achilles’ heel, a neurotoxin that isn’t harmful to any living thing except Anopheles mosquitoes that spread malaria.

Nearly half the world’s population lives in areas vulnerable to malaria which kills roughly 450,000 people per year, most of them children and pregnant women. Progress fighting the disease is threatened as Anopheles develop resistance to chemical insecticides used to control them. There is also great concern about toxic side effects of the chemicals.

About 30 years ago, scientists identified a strain of bacteria that kills Anopheles. Since the bacteria’s method of attack was not understood, it couldn’t be replicated or used as an alternative to chemical insecticides — until now. 

An international team led by Sarjeet Gill, distinguished professor of molecular, cell and systems biology at UC Riverside, has identified a neurotoxin produced by the bacteria, and determined how it kills Anopheles. Their work is detailed in a paper published today in Nature Communications.

It took Gill and his team 10 years to achieve a breakthrough in their quest to understand the bacteria, and Gill attributes the success to modern gene sequencing techniques. They hit the bacteria with radiation, creating mutant bacterial strains that could not produce the toxin. By comparing the nontoxic strain to the one that kills Anopheles, they found proteins in the bacteria that are the keys to toxin production.

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Increasing West Nile Virus Activity in California

June 26, 2019

SACRAMENTO June 26, 2019 – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urges all Californians to protect themselves from mosquito bites during West Nile virus (WNV) season, which extends from now through early fall.

“West Nile virus activity in the state is increasing, so it is important to take every possible precaution to protect against mosquito bites,” said State Public Health Officer and CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith.

West Nile virus spreads to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Late-spring rains have contributed to standing water, which serves as a breeding source for mosquitoes that can spread WNV. Hot temperatures also contribute to increasing numbers of breeding mosquitoes and an increased risk of virus transmission to humans. Currently, WNV activity is within expected levels and is similar to activity at this time last year. The risk of disease due to WNV increases as the summer progresses, and declines in early fall as the weather cools. In 2018, there were 217 reported WNV cases in California, including 11 deaths. Since WNV was first introduced into California in 2003, there have been more than 6,000 human WNV cases and 303 WNV-related deaths across the state.

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West Nile virus found in Cathedral City mosquito samples

From the Desert Sun
June 26, 2019

For the first time this year, West Nile virus has been found in mosquito samples in Cathedral City, officials announced on Wednesday afternoon.

The two positive samples came from Waverly and Golf Club drives and Hillcrest Road near Palo Verde Drive, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The virus has been spotted in mosquito samples throughout the valley. More than 220 samples have tested positive for the West Nile or St. Louis Encephalitis viruses, the district said.

On Monday, the district announced it was going to launch low-volume mosquito treatments by helicopter or truck in areas where the viruses had a significant presence. 

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Summer weather brings mosquitoes and West Nile virus

From the Tracy Press
June 26, 2019

People can get free mosquitofish Friday to combat the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes as the West Nile virus season begins.

The California Department of Public Health cautioned California residents this week to be especially wary of mosquito bites now through early fall. West Nile virus, which is carried and spread by mosquitoes, can cause symptoms similar to the flu in 1 in 5 people who are infected. Most people never have any symptoms, but rare extreme cases can result in severe illness and sometimes death.

One of the best ways to keep West Nile virus from spreading is to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes. The San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District will give out mosquitofish, which eat immature mosquitoes, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday in front of the Tracy Community Center, 950 East St.

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Sustained Low-Level Transmission of Zika and Chikungunya Viruses after Emergence in the Fiji Islands

From the CDC
June 26, 2019

Zika virus and chikungunya virus (CHIKV) have caused outbreaks in several tropical regions, including the Pacific (1). The first known Zika virus outbreak occurred in Yap Island (Federated States of Micronesia) in 2007 (2), followed by an explosive outbreak in French Polynesia in 2013–2014 (3), then other Pacific islands (4) and Latin America (5). CHIKV first appeared in the Pacific in 2011 (6), causing multiple outbreaks from 2013 onward (4).

In Fiji, the first confirmed Zika virus infections were detected in July 2015; these were locally acquired. By March 2016, a total of 13 confirmed infections had been reported (7). The first recorded CHIKV infection was an imported case detected in March 2015 (8); 24 autochthonous infections were identified by June 2016 (9). CHIKV and Zika virus were subsequently detected in travelers returning from Fiji (10,11). Outbreaks of dengue virus (DENV) have been recorded in Fiji (4,12), and evidence from other settings indicates that DENV and Zika virus can exhibit similar transmission characteristics in the same location (13). Despite enhanced surveillance, no large outbreaks of Zika or chikungunya were identified in Fiji, unlike in other settings (3,4). We describe the introduction, epidemiology, and transmission of Zika virus and CHIKV in Fiji during 2013–2017, in a context of concurrent circulation of DENV (4,12).

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Mosquito district makes video to mock, we mean rock the ’80s (and fight the Zika virus)

From the Pasadena Star-News
June 25, 2019

What does an exotic brand of mosquito called Aedes and a musical video featuring people in pastel-colored sweats gyrating to a synthesized beat have in common?

Nothing, really.

Unless you are the folks from the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.

The staff of the bug-squashing district created a public service announcement, called “Don’t Bring Back the Aedes,” that cleverly promotes a message of wearing insect repellent and tipping over pots of water carrying the Aedes eggs within a music video.

It’s all based on rhyming the bug’s name (pronounced A-DEEZ) with the ’80s decade. Throw in a rap number and some choreographed dance moves and there you have it.

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Brazil says deaths from dengue up 163% in first half of year

From the Houston Chronicle
June 24, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s health ministry says deaths from dengue fever in the last six months have risen 163% from the same period last year.

The ministry said in a note Monday that heavier rains and higher temperatures have been contributing factors. It added that dengue has cycles and that the numbers of cases were lower the past two years.

A report published Friday said 366 people died from the mosquito-borne disease from Dec. 30 through June 8.

It also reported a total of 1.1 million probable dengue cases, representing a 561% increase from the first six months of 2018. An estimated 600,000 of those cases are confirmed.

Dengue is transmitted through the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also known for spreading Chikungunya fever and Zika virus.

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Is a new mosquito-borne virus making its way to Georgia?

June 24, 2019

MACON, Ga. — Mosquito-born diseases can be fatal, and some experts say a warming climate could make things worse.

WGXA spoke with a mosquito expert, Dr. Bruce Snyder, with Georgia College and State University to see if Middle Georgians should be concerned.

Georgia is home to 60 species of mosquitoes, as well as mosquito-borne diseases including West Nile and Zika — but should Georgians be concerned about the spreading of a new virus known as dengue? A recent study analyzed the current and future distribution of the virus, and the group of people who could also be most at risk for it.

“Dengue can be fatal but it rarely is, so it definitely can affect many more people. Especially if it does get transmitted into the US and become established and really move northward,” Snyder said.

Mosquitoes carry and transmit the virus, much like the Zika and yellow fever viruses.

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Nitrogen-rich diet reduces mosquitoes’ ability to transmit Zika

June 24, 2019

Feed mosquitoes more nitrogen when they’re young, and the adults are less likely to transmit the Zika virus, University of Florida scientists say. Now, researchers want to know why, and they’re determined to discover how the findings can help further their research into the dangerous virus.

In a new study, researchers with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the University of Southern Mississippi examined how quality and quantity of food ingested by the yellow fever mosquito affect its biology, including its ability to become infected by, and potentially transmit, the Zika virus.

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“Epidemic conditions” a possibility due to historic mosquito season

June 24, 2019

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif.- – A historic season has opened to door to possible “epidemic conditions” when it comes to the presence of virus-positive mosquitos in the Coachella Valley, according to a Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District (CVMVCD) news release. 

District testing has revealed that the mosquito population in the valley is especially high and that there has been an unprecedented number of samples coming up positive for both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Saint Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLEV). 

More than 180 mosquito samples have tested positive for the diseases in the valley this year. That’s up from only about 25 positive samples detected last year.

“We have the conditions that are right for having people becoming sick,” 

CVMVCD is planning a series of ultra-low volume (ULV) applications of mosquito treatments across the valley in an attempt to combat the problem. 

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Invasive Mosquitoes Pose New Threat to South Pasadena

From the South Pasadenan
June 21, 2019

Mosquitoes — one of the natural banes of our existence. We’re all familiar with the tickle, the itch, the scratching, the pleasant outdoor evenings given up because their bites are getting to be too much to handle.

But now, it’s not just during the cooler dusky hours of summer that South Pasadenans are vulnerable to mosquitoes. With two new invasive species establishing themselves in our area, mosquito season is 24/7.

On June 11 the San Gabriel Valley Vector & Mosquito Control District put on a workshop, “South Pasadena Bites Back!”, at the Library Community Room to educate the public about the new health threats we could be facing.

“It used to be that we had a mosquito season that runs from April through maybe August, but now we’re seeing mosquito season turn into a year-round issue,” said Levy Sun, Public Information Officer at the Control District.

“Temperatures are higher for a longer period of time, and we’re also seeing more high temperatures following rain events. And when rain hits the cities, they find all sorts of sources in people’s back yards, and when the high temperatures come in, the mosquitos are ready to lay their eggs.”

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Valley mosquitoes test positive for encephalitis

From News Channel 3
June 20, 2019

Mosquitoes in the eastern Coachella Valley tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis (SLEV) virus this week, the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District announced Thursday.

Vector Control said the infected mosquitoes were collected from a trap in the Thermal-Oasis area. This is the first time SLEV has tested positive in the Coachella Valley this year.

There were also mosquito samples in the Thermal-Oasis area that tested positive for West Nile Virus. WNV was detected in 37 samples throughout the valley including Coachella, Indio, La Quinta, Mecca, Palm Desert, and Palm Springs. According to Vector Control, there have been 169 WNV positive samples in 2019, the most since 2003.

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Mosquitoes Threaten Greek Tourist Industry With West Nile Virus

From Forbes
June 17, 2019

Greece’s Foreign Office is preparing summer tourists for a trip to the country in a slightly different way than usual; by adding mosquitoes to its list of travel perils. More people than ever before are contracting West Nile virus, a disease which is spread by mosquito bites and last year, 50 Greeks died.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of infected culex mosquitoes, which are active from dusk until dawn (other mosquitoes come out during the day). The virus was first identified and classified in 1937 in the West Nile region of Uganda (hence its name) although it hasn’t always been considered very serious because most people who are infected don’t usually exhibit any signs of illness.

For the people who do have symptoms–about 20% of infected people–these will be flu-like, with fever, headaches, diarrhoea and vomiting. However, there are a few–typically 1 in every 150–who will be much more affected and will develop some kind of neuroinvasive disease such as meningitis and encephalitis, leading to possible mental confusion, loss of memory, and convulsions. Unlike other species of mosquitoes, the culex mosquito has a preference for birds so whilst humans are not the preferred meal, the disease can stick around as it is transmitted from bird to bird and it tends to be transported long-distances. It’s overwhelmingly the case that the older you are, the more likely it is that you will be adversely affected by West Nile disease.

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First 2019 human case of west Nile virus found near Modesto, authorities say

From the Modesto Bee
June 17, 2019

A human case of west Nile virus was confirmed this week near east Modesto, according Lloyd Douglass, manager of the East Side Mosquito Abatement District.

Douglass said the case came a bit earlier than last year for the area, and could be the first in the state. There were no reported human cases as of last Friday, according to the state’s West Nile website. Generally, the first cases are seen in the Bakersfield area and Southern California.

Mosquitoes with West Nile have been found this year, with a report of three dead birds — two in Orange County and one in San Diego County.

Warm weather coupled with plentiful water from the wet winter have created the “perfect storm” to allow mosquito populations to boom, Douglass said. With more mosquitoes comes the greater likelihood of people contracting the virus.

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West Nile virus found near Fresno State campus

From The Collegian
June 15, 2019

The Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) issued a warning regarding the West Nile virus (WNV) on Friday.

According to the FCDPH website, mosquitoes collected within the City of Fresno have tested positive for the virus. The mosquitoes were found around the 93710 ZIP code, which includes the Fresno State campus.

“This confirmation is a strong reminder that everyone should take this disease seriously and should take every precaution to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” says Leticia Berber, Health Educator Fresno County Department of Public Health.

Precautionary measures include contacting local mosquito control district regarding standing water or mosquito problems, as well as to report any neglected swimming pools and practicing the “three Ds” proposed by the FCDPH.

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West Nile virus detected in Fresno mosquitos

June 14, 2019

FRESNO, California – Mosquitos in the city of Fresno tested positive for West Nile virus, the Fresno County Department of Public Health announced Friday.

The Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District notified the Department of Public Health of West Nile positive virus tests in adult mosquitoes collected from an area around portions of Fresno – specifically in the 93710 area code.

“This confirmation is a strong reminder that everyone should take this disease seriously and should take every precaution to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” says Leticia Berber, health educator for the Department of Public Health.

The health department recommends that residents contact their local mosquito control district regarding standing water or mosquito problems, as well as to report any neglected swimming pools.

Neglected pools are a major source of mosquito production in urban and suburban areas, the health department said.

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Ripon mosquito Found to have West Nile Virus

From the Manteca/Ripon Bulletin
June 14, 2019

West Nile Virus is here again. 

On Thursday, the San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District announced that mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus – which can be transmitted to humans and can be deadly in certain populations – have been discovered in San Joaquin County. 

The West Nile Virus positive mosquitoes were discovered in traps that were set in both Ripon and Tracy. 

The discovery and subsequent announcement of its arrival came less than a week before the disclosure that mosquitoes had tested positive for the virus last year on June 17. 

“This find serves as a reminder that mosquitoes carry disease that can harm humans. The District does its part in controlling mosquitoes; however, mosquito control is everyone’s responsibility,” said Aaron Devencenzi, Public Information Officer of the District. “Adult mosquito control activities will increase in accordance with our surveillance results.”

With last year being the worst year for concentration of the virus in and around San Joaquin County since 2014 – with a 125 percent spike in the number of confirmed cases of the virus in humans coming between August and September – spraying efforts continued well into the fall in order to eradicate the adult populations that transmit the virus. 

Is it Zika or dengue? New CDC guidance advises doctors to test patients for both.

From the Miami Herald
June 14, 2019

Summer in South Florida brings warm weather, high humidity and mosquitoes — an ideal environment for two closely related viruses, Zika and dengue fever.

Scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that they want clinicians to keep both diseases in mind whenever patients present with fever, rash, and joint and muscle pain.

Zika and dengue fever have surfaced in South Florida in the past. Both are transmitted primarily by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, though Zika can also be transmitted by sex and through blood transfusions. And both produce similar symptoms.

“Both of them can have some pretty bad consequences but in different populations,” said Tyler Sharp, a health scientist with the CDC’s dengue branch in Puerto Rico and author of a report advising doctors and nurses to be on the lookout for both diseases.


Summer means increase in mosquitoes; CDC urging clinics to test for Zika, dengue fever

From Action News JAX
June 14, 2019

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The start of summer comes with an increase in mosquito activity, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging clinics to test for both Zika and dengue fever in patients with certain symptoms. 

Randy Wishard is the chief of mosquito control in Duval County and tests mosquitoes. 

“We do anticipate an upscale or an upswing in the next couple weeks,” Wishard said.

Hot temperatures and humidity are the perfect mix for mosquitoes.

The CDC is urging clinicians to test patients for Zika and dengue fever if a patient shows signs of a rash, fever, and muscle and joint pain. 

Both diseases can be transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

“We need to know what species they are for the environments that they may live in or grow in,” Wishard said.

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Wake-up call for vector-borne diseases that are on the uptick

From the American Medical Association
June 12, 2019

Diseases from mosquito and tick bites occur in every U.S. state and territory. The growing incidence of Lyme disease and recent outbreaks of Zika virus and chikungunya point to the need for comprehensive vector-borne disease (VBD) programs. Physicians, health care teams and patients should be much more aware of VBDs, says an AMA Council on Science and Public Health report whose recommendations were adopted at the 2019 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago. 

Sixteen VBDs “are reportable to state and territorial health departments and the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System,” says the council report. “The most common VBDs in the United States are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, West Nile virus, dengue and Zika virus disease. As a group, VBDs in the United States are notable for their wide distribution and resistance to control.” 

Vector-control programs vary by jurisdiction, placing responsibilities on the local health department, mosquito control district or other local agencies. As a result, there are differing capabilities across the country.  

“Our country currently has limited capacity to properly control mosquitoes, ticks and other sources of vector-borne disease that are causing more and more people to become ill. In fact, approximately 80 percent of vector-control organizations lack the resources they need to prevent and control vector-borne diseases,” said AMA Board Member E. Scott Ferguson, MD.  

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29 More Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile in Coachella Valley

June 12, 2019

The number of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus reached new heights in the Coachella Valley this week, vector control officials said Wednesday.

The Coachella Valley Vector Control District collected 29 samples of mosquitoes with the virus in the last week, bringing the total number of positive samples collected this year to 108, according to the district’s Tammy Gordon.

At this time last year, no West Nile-positive mosquitoes had been detected, Gordon said.

The most recent samples were collected from communities across the valley, including Coachella, Indio, Mecca, Thermal and La Quinta.

Gordon said the sample collected from La Quinta marked the first time West Nile virus has been detected in that city so far this year.

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Hundreds of thousands of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes to be released

From FOX 26 News
June 11, 2019

The amount of mosquitoes in Clovis is now expected to go up this summer but it’s not a bad thing. It’s actually, a technique to get rid of a particular species of mosquitoes that are capable of carrying multiple diseases.

You can swat them, smack them, or wear DEET repellant but that’s a temporary fix to get rid of these pesky bloodsuckers. The Consolidation Mosquito Abatement District Manager Steve McMullan says, the Aedes Aeypti Mosquito is a huge problem in our area and has the potential to carry Dengue, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, and West Nile Virus.

Which is scary for many of us to think about. “A female could potentially spread the disease locally. We have not had any locally transmitted disease in California but we have had imported cases,” said Steve McMullan.

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It’s Summer Time, and the Living Can Be Buggy

From WEHOville
June 11, 2019

It’s summer (finally).  And it’s not just the sunburn you have to worry about.  The Los Angeles County West Vector & Vector-Borne Control District is warning residents of West Hollywood and other westside communities about the dangers of mosquitos.

Of the 50,000 varieties of mosquitos in the world, there are more than 50 in California and nine in the West Vector Control District, which covers 720 square miles and includes the cities of Agoura Hills, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Culver City, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lomita, the westerly portion of Los Angeles City, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, and  the unincorporated territory of the County of Los Angeles.

Perhaps the most worrisome form of mosquito in our area is the Aedes mosquito, a small insect with black and white stripes that is known as an aggressive biter during the day as well as night. According to the West Vector Control District, it typically breeds indoors and outdoors in plant saucers and other containers filled with as little as a teaspoon of water.

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Pesticide sprayings to start soon to fight West Nile in Sutter-Yuba area, officials say

From The Sacramento Bee
June 11, 2019

In an effort to target West Nile virus in the Sutter-Yuba area, “ultra low volume spraying” will begin June 27 and continue weekly until the fall, officials said.

The Sutter-Yuba Mosquito & Vector Control District will spray in the areas of Wheatland, Plumas Lake, Olivehurst, Linda, Marysville, south Yuba City, Live Oak, Sutter and Tierra Buena, usually on Thursday evenings, according to a news release. The Meridian and Robbins areas will be sprayed on Wednesday evenings.

The pesticide sprayings will depend on the volume of mosquitoes, disease activity and the weather, according to the release. Spraying by foggers on pickup trucks will begin at sunset and continue for two to three hours, officials said.

Ground fogging to combat adult mosquitoes in farmland will occur Monday through Thursday evenings, starting on June 11, the release said. Aerial spraying may occur in farmland north of Marysville, west of Yuba City, and east of Olivehurst/Plumas Lake.

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Genetically modified fungus provides new option for malaria vector control

From Healio
June 9, 2019

Through genetic modification, researchers have weaponized the fungus Metarhiziumpingshaense, which is a natural pathogen to mosquitos that carry malaria. Trials performed in a contained, near-natural environment demonstrated that the fungus successfully suppressed a malaria-carrying anopheline mosquito population.

Writing in ScienceBrian Lovett, a doctoral student in the department of entomology at the University of Maryland, and colleagues explained that M. pingshaenseeffectively delivers mosquito-eliminating toxins to Anopheles species mosquito populations that have developed resistance to insecticide.

“The application of Metarhizium spores inside traditional houses in Tanzania reduced the number of infectious bites, but complete protection was prevented by the pathogen’s low virulence (slow killing and high inoculum loads) and low persistence,” Lovett and colleagues wrote. “To remedy these deficiencies, we engineered a strain of Metarhizium pingshaense (Mp-Hybrid).”

In the laboratory, mosquitos were killed faster using lower spore doses with the Mp-Hybrid, as opposed to the wild-type M. pingshaense fungus. Following these experiments, the researchers conducted a trial in near-field conditions in Burkina Faso, a malaria-endemic country that reported more than 7.9 million cases of malaria in 2017. This was accomplished using what they called the “MosquitoSphere” — near-natural environment complete with animals, huts, plants, and breeding sites made of plastic sheets buried in soil — all enclosed in a greenhouse frame with walls of mosquito netting.

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Don’t Bring Zika Home This Summer

From Precision Vaccinations
June 8, 2019

Contrary to everyone’s hopes, the Zika virus has returned to the USA and its territories in 2019. 

As of June 7, 2019, the states of California (19), Florida (20), and Utah (1) have reported 40 travel-related Zika cases this year. 

Thus far, these states have documented Zika infections in people who were infected while traveling abroad. 

Additionally, Puerto Rico recently confirmed 18 Zika cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These new Zika cases were acquired through the presumed local, mosquito-borne transmission during 2019. 

These new Puerto Rico cases are in addition to the 146 Zika cases confirmed by the CDC during 2018

Unfortunately, there have been 9 pregnant women confirmed in Florida with Zika. 

This information is very concerning from a public health perspective. While many people with Zika virus infection experience no symptoms, the virus poses potentially serious risks to unborn children. 

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Kern Co. Health Dept. warns of rise in mosquito activity

From 23 ABC News Bakersfield
June 6, 2019

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County Public Health Department is warning residents of the dangers of a recent increase in mosquito activity in the county.

Public Health was alerted by the Kern Mosquito and Vector Control District that recent rainy weather “has created a lot of opportunities for mosquito breeding.”

Gene Abbott, the District Manager for Kern Mosquito and Vector Control, says an increase in activity has been detected.

“We have detected more mosquito activity earlier in the year than normal,” Abbott said. “We need everyone in our community to help keep mosquitoes to a minimum by removing standing water around their homes.”

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Mosquitos in Palm Springs, Indio, Coachella, Thermal, Mecca test positive for West Nile

From the Desert Sun
June 4, 2019

If you’re feeling itchy in the morning, here’s why: Mosquitoes are out in full force.

Thanks to warm temperatures now and previous rainfall creating the perfect breeding environment, the local mosquito population is on the rise. At least, it is among the types of mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus.

Now, Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District officials are urging people to protect themselves from being bit and getting itchy or, much worse, sick from the virus.

“It can be life-changing,” lab manager Jennifer Henke said. “Everywhere that you are, you should be protecting yourself from being bit by mosquitoes.”

Thirty-seven mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in the Coachella Valley so far this year, whereas there had been no positive samples by this time last year. Seven positive samples came from Palm Springs, 10 were in Indio, and eight were in Coachella. The rest were from Thermal, Mecca and North Shore.

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