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Researchers Discover Virus-Transmitting 'Yellow Fever' Mosquitoes In L.A. County

Update Date: Oct 17, 2014 08:14 AM EDT
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Researchers have discovered a new aggressive daytime-biting mosquito capable of transmitting debilitating and possibly deadly virus in the Los Angeles region, officials said Wednesday. 

The discovered mosquitos are known as yellow fever mosquitoes. They were found on Oct. 7 and 8 in Commerce and Pico Rivera, respectively, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.

Officials added that the Aedes aegypti species, which has black and white stripes and grows to about a quarter-inch in size, can transmit dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. 

"While these debilitating viruses, so far, aren't locally transmitted in L.A. County, the mosquitoes that can transmit them are now here," Susanne Kluh, the district's director of scientific-technical services, said in a statement. "Infected travelers can bring these viruses to Los Angeles County."

The discovered mosquito is the third species of the Aedes genus that was found in LA County in the past three years, added spokesman Levy Sun. 

"We're aggressively attacking the populations wherever we find them," said Jason Farned, spokesman for the San Gabriel Valley Vector Control District.

Officials have urged residents to report any daytime-biting mosquitoes with black and white stripes. 

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