New invasive mosquito species known for carrying viruses found in Florida

The New York Post:

A new invasive species of mosquito known to carry viruses, including yellow fever, has been discovered in Florida, scientists have warned.

The Aedes scapularis mosquitoes have been confirmed in two South Florida counties — Miami-Dade and Broward — but are now at risk of spreading along Florida’s gulf and Atlantic coasts, according to a study co-authored by Lawrence Reeves, an entomologist and research scientist with the University of Florida.

Until now, the insects have primarily been found in the Caribbean and Latin America, NPR reported.

In Brazil, they’ve been found infected with “a range of diseases” such as Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and yellow fever virus, Reeves told the outlet.

It’s unclear whether the disease-ridden species actually spread the viruses they carry, but as outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases — most recently, dengue fever — have emerged in Florida, researchers say the discovery is important.

Lindsay Campbell, who co-authored the study with Reeves, said it is known that Aedes scapularis mosquitoes like to go indoors — and they feed on both wildlife and people.

Read more at The New York Post

Join now!