Press Release: Mosquito Threats on the Rise and Californians are Nurturing the Threat

Mosquito Awareness Week educates California residents on preventing mosquito-borne viruses

SACRAMENTO, APRIL 13, 2018 – There has been a steep rise in detections of invasive mosquito species in California, according to the California Department of Public Health, which increases the risk of local transmission of imported diseases. At the same time, lifted water restrictions in the state allows for the return to water practices by Californians that increase mosquito habitats.

Two invasive mosquito species, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, have been found in nearly 200 cities in Southern and Central California and continue to spread throughout the state. This is a sharp increase from just five years ago when only four cities reported one of the invasive mosquito species. Both invasive species are capable of transmitting viruses that are dangerous to people such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika.

“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,” said David Heft, President of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC).  “All it will take is one invasive mosquito biting one infected traveler for these diseases to potentially spread to others here at home. While surveillance and mosquito control activities are critical to protecting public health, the public also needs to do everything in their power to get rid of sources in their own communities where mosquitoes develop.”

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