California health officials are concerned over the arrival of nonnative mosquitos that are known to carry deadly diseases and that are quickly spreading across the southern part of the Golden State.
“It’s such an enormous problem,” Kelly Middleton, director of community affairs for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, told the Los Angeles Times. Dr. Lauren Mascola, chief of the acute communicable disease control program for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, concurred. She told the Times “the bottom line… is just to avoid all mosquitoes.” The warning arrives as two more counties were added to the list of places where the Asian tiger (Aedes albopictus) and yellow fever (Aedes aegypti) mosquitoes have been detected.
The insects reportedly have the potential to transit diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Although no one has been infected yet with these diseases yet in California, health officials say it is only a matter of time before they start to spread.
A message on the illness from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Chikungunya virus infection. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. When traveling to countries with Chikungunya virus, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.”