Rare, Dangerous Mosquito in Southern California

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Health officials in California are trying to quell an invasion of Asian tiger mosquitoes.
   
The mosquito, native to Southeast Asia, has been spotted in several neighborhoods, with one of the most recent being El Monte.

"This day-biting and disease-spreading mosquito would significantly impact everyone's way of life if it were to establish itself here in Los Angeles," said Mark Daniel, Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District director of operations.

"We are urging residents to help us stop the spread of the species by immediately eliminating any potential breeding sources around their homes and to alert the District if they find possible Asian tiger mosquitoes in their neighborhoods," he added.

Pest controllers have been doing their part, spraying insecticide in an effort to rid the area of the insects.     

Over the past few years, Asian tiger mosquitoes have spread across the southeastern U.S. Compared to normal mosquitoes, they are very aggressive species - and dangerous.

"It is a very efficient vector of dengue and yellow fever and chikungunya, and other kind of nasty (viruses)," one health official said.

Authorities want to eradicate the insects before they cause a disease outbreak.

"We'll be making the best effort to eliminate the mosquito," Kenn Fujioka, assistant manager of the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District, told ABC News.

"It's the risk to our public and the uncertainty how it will behave that concerns us," he said.

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