Dangerous species of mosquitoes known to carry diseases like Zika and Yellow Fever found in Los Banos

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An invasive mosquito species that can potentially carry diseases like Zika and Yellow Fever has been found for the first time in Los Banos.

Efforts are underway to fight a dangerous species of mosquitos found in Los Banos.

The Merced County Mosquito Abatement found a mosquito known as the Aedes aegypti, which have the potential to transmit diseases like Zika and Yellow Fever

Rhiannon Jones from Merced County Mosquito Abatement said, "They are more like a backyard mosquito, this is the first time that mosquito has been introduced in this area."

Jason Bakken says unlike your average mosquito, these can bite at any time of the day.

He says the mosquitos they found aren't necessarily infected, but it has the potential to carry the diseases.

Bakken said the goal now is to, "Ramp up our efforts for surveillance, figure out how far this infestation goes, try to find the boundaries, see how widespread this is."

The mosquitos usually breed in urban areas, which is why it's not unusual that they were found in a neighborhood along Stonewood Drive.

Last season, the species was found in Merced, making this the second time this mosquito's been spotted.

Jones says, at the same time, they're dealing with mosquitos that carry West Nile virus. They just had their first confirmed human case of the illness last week.

"Our main concern is that when people travel abroad to countries like Mexico or Brazil, they can carry diseases, like Zika, Dengue or Yellow Fever. When they bring them back to our county and get exposed to bites from Aedes aegypti, it could create local transmission."

Bakken says the species is spreading, slowly moving up towards the Bay Area.

Along with increased trapping, abatement employees are going door to door and asking people to do their part.

Bakken says you can do that by, "Not having any standing water in your backyard, it loves artificial containers. It breeds in a small amount of water"

Biologists are getting ready to send off their mosquito findings to get tested and determine if any of them are infected.
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healthzika virusmosquitoLos Banos
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