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Aedis aegypti mosquito detected in Palm Desert

PALM DESERT, Calif. - The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes -- capable of transmitting chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever and Zika -- has been found in Palm Desert.

While these viruses are not currently transmitted locally, the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is taking steps to eliminate and reduce the spread of this mosquito throughout the Coachella Valley. 

District teams will be conducting enhanced surveillance in the area to evaluate the extent of the infestation. Technicians will also be going door-to-door searching for standing water sources in people’s backyard where this mosquito species commonly lays eggs.

Technicians will educate residents on how to prevent breeding and also carry out control activities as needed. The door-to-door campaign will be carried out within the area bordered by Fred Waring Drive, Monterey Avenue, Avenida Las Palmas, and Highway 111.

The location of the trapped mosquitoes in Palm Desert is close to the border of Rancho Mirage and therefore the inspection zone includes areas in both cities. Homeowners within the listed street borders will receive notices about the presence of the mosquito and the upcoming control strategies. Door-to-door inspections are scheduled to begin Friday, September 22.  

Read: La Quinta resident tests positive for West Nile Virus

“This mosquito poses a health threat to Valley resident and visitors. The only way to eliminate this threat is community vigilance to removing standing water,” says Jeremy Wittie, MS, General Manager at the District. “The Aedes aegypti mosquito lives in people’s yards and lays eggs in containers we provide for them from flower pot saucers to discarded tires. We urge people to take this seriously, go in your yards, search out these containers and get rid of them or clean them vigorously with bleach to kill the eggs.”

Aedes aegypti was first detected in the Coachella Valley in the City of Coachella in May 2016 and has since been detected in Cathedral City, Indio, La Quinta, and Palm Springs. 

Mosquito-borne virus activity among the Coachella Valley’s native Culex mosquitoes remains high in the East Valley. So far this year, 137 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus (118 samples) or Saint Louis encephalitis virus (23 samples).

Four samples tested positive for both viruses.  Last year at this time, 101 samples tested positive for mosquito-borne viruses. District staff continue enhanced mosquito surveillance and control as necessary to reduce the number of mosquitoes and the risk of virus transmission to people. 

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