The city of San Jacinto is the latest Riverside County location where so-called “yellow fever mosquitoes” are now nesting, county health officials said today.
According to the Department of Environmental Health, a resident brought an Aedes aegypti specimen to vector control officials last week, prompting a wider investigation during which eight more of the pests were trapped,
establishing that they had migrated to the area.
San Jacinto is the 35th California city where the non-native mosquito breed has taken root. Earlier this month, Aedes aegypti were located in Riverside.
The insects are not an inherent threat but can pose a health risk because they’re capable of carrying and transmitting dengue fever, sometimes referred to as yellow fever. Like mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus,
yellow fever mosquitoes must first feed on a host that’s infected before they can pass on the disease, according to health officials.
The California Department of Public Health has created a map featuring Aedes aegypti hotspots. Aedes aegypti lay eggs above the water line, using anything from flower pots and bird baths to pet bowls, according to health officials.
“The species’ eggs can survive on surfaces even after water has been drained, so residents should drain all stagnant water and then scrub all items that contained the water,” said county vector control spokeswoman Dotti Merki.
Yellow fever is generally defined by elevated body temperature, severe headaches, eye pain, as well as joint and muscle pain, bleeding from the gums and nose and susceptibility to bruising, according to the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. With proper treatment, fewer than 1 percent of cases are fatal.
County Department of Public Health spokeswoman Barbara Cole told City News Service earlier this month that there have been no cases of locally acquired yellow fever. However, several individuals who traveled abroad returned to the county showing symptoms and were medically treated.
An official with the Corona-based Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control District said mosquito populations typically peak in early fall and plummet as cold weather takes hold.