LONG BEACH (FOX 11 / CNS) - Mosquitoes that can transmit Zika, dengue and other virus have been detected for the first time in Long Beach, city health officials said Monday, urging residents to take extra precautions against mosquito bites.
The mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, were found in North Long Beach in the jurisdiction of the Compton Creek Mosquito Abatement District. Authorities are working to determine the extent of the infestation and prevent their spread. A variety of mosquito traps have been deployed in the area.
"We are actively informing and encouraging residents and visitors to take necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites," Mayor Robert Garcia said. "I'm proud of the outreach the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is conducting across our diverse communities."
Health officials noted that the mosquitoes have been found previously in other Southern California areas, but this was the first sign of them in Long Beach.
Aedes aegypti is a roughly quarter-inch large, black-and-white insect that is notably aggressive and is known to bite during the daytime.
Residents were urged to report any sightings of the insects by calling the Zika hotline at (562) 570-7907.
Residents were also encouraged to take steps including:
- emptying containers filled with water at least once a week;
- cleaning and scrubbing bird baths and pet water bowls;
- dumping water from potted plant saucers;
- checking rain gutters and lawn drains to ensure they are not holding water and debris;
- using mosquito repellent;
- wearing long sleeves and pants; and
- ensuring screens on doors and windows are in good repair.
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