Mosquitoes Capable of Transmitting Zika and Yellow Fever Viruses Found in Stanislaus County

MODESTO -- An invasive mosquito that can transmit the Zika virus, as well as other serious diseases, was discovered last week and this week in the eastern part of Modesto.

It’s the first time the Aedes aegypti mosquito was found in Stanislaus County.

It's alarming to health officials because of the mosquito's ability to transmit Zika and Yellow fever.

“No, we do not have any local transmission, it has not happened in California, and we hope it doesn't,” said Wakola Wekesa, West Side Mosquito Abatement

Chances of people getting infected may be slim. Only two mosquitoes have been discovered on the east side of Modesto.

But, the same breed of mosquitoes has been found in neighboring communities, including Merced, Madera and Fresno.

“We don't want them in the neighborhood so this morning we went out in an area of about 450 acres and we sprayed that whole neighborhood between three to five in the morning. We'll do that again tomorrow morning,” Wekesa explained. “We just hope we don't find any of them there.”

Abatement technicians will continue going door-to-door looking for more signs of the mosquitoes.

And they're counting on the public's help to prevent the spread of this particular pest.

“It breeds in small containers, small containers like a birdbath or a bucket and the sprinklers routinely heat those containers,” Wekesa said. “Water accumulates and the mosquitoes lay eggs in there.

The Zika virus can cause miscarriages in pregnant women, as well as birth defects.

However, the number of Zika cases abroad dropped sharply 2 years ago and there are no known cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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