Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Potential Zika-carrying mosquitoes found in Lea County

Make it eight and counting. The Aedes aegypti, a mosquito species that can transmit Zika virus, has been identified for the first time in Lea County, state health officials said Monday. With this latest find, this specific breed of mosquito has been trapped and identified this summer in Lea, Doña Ana, Eddy, Chaves and Sierra counties, and Aedes albopictus was found in Roosevelt County, according to a news release. In past years, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes have also been reported in Otero County, and Aedes albopictus in Curry County. “We are mapping out the areas at risk of Zika transmission in New Mexico,” said Department of Health Secretary Designate Lynn Gallagher in a statement. “With this latest discovery, we are alerting the residents Lea County to do as others in neighboring counties are already doing: eliminate standing water around homes where these mosquitoes can breed and multiply,” she said. “Help your community prevent the devastating consequences of birth defects from Zika virus infection in pregnant women.” So far, there have been no cases of Zika virus identified in Lea County. The state has had six travel-acquired cases of Zika virus this year, the health department said. In each case, the patient was infected while traveling abroad and diagnosed after they returned home...more

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