The Aedes aegypti mosquito has migrated to the Central Valley, and it has brought various diseases along with it.
This particular species of mosquito has never been introduced to California’s landscape until now, which is why there is a concern for those who live in the affected area.
Monica Patterson, a vector biologist at Turlock Mosquito Abatement Center, states, "The mosquito is a transmitter of three diseases that are new to California’s environment; the diseases are zika, chikungunya, and dengue. There are very few reliable treatments for those who are infected with one of the diseases, hence the concern."
The zika virus is the worst of the three diseases. zika has been known to primarily effect pregnant women. The virus can cause microcephaly, a birth defect that decreases the size of the fetus’ head which weakens their development.
Chikungunya and dengue inflict feelings of discomfort; high fevers and joint pain. Officials at Turlock Mosquito Abatement Center are working to contain the mosquito infestation, though the process has proven to be quite difficult.
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