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Mosquitoes Normally Found In Tropical, Subtropical Parts Of World Bring Disease Potential To South Coast

National Centers For Disease Control Photo
The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are spreading throughout the South Coast. While they haven't done so yet, they can potentially carry tropical diseases rarely found in the United States.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can transmit tropical diseases like dengue, yellow fever and Zika.

A potentially dangerous type of mosquito, normally found in tropical and subtropical parts of the world, is spreading through the South Coast. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can carry viruses like yellow fever and dengue.

Trapping efforts have found the mosquitos spreading throughout Ventura County. It's been found in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Fillmore, Piru, Ventura, Oak View, Oxnard, and this week in Ojai.

The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have been spreading around the state. They’re now found in more than a third of the state’s 58 counties. Santa Barbara County had its first find last year.

So far, the state hasn’t seen any of the exotic diseases potentially carried by this type of mosquito in California, but there have been cases in Texas and Florida.

The Aedes aegypt are a new wrinkle in the region’s ongoing mosquito problem.

More common types of mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, which doesn’t affect most people, but in rare cases can cause serious illness or death. So far this year, there have been no detected cases of that virus in the county.

Experts say this is the time of year we have to protect ourselves against mosquitoes. That includes removing standing water from yards and using insect repellent.

You can find more information about mosquito preparedness and protection through the Ventura County Environmental Health Division.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.