California officials have warned Long Beach residents that they have detected mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus in the city for the first time ever. Health officials detected the Aedes aegypti mosquito in northern Long Beach and have deployed traps to catch adult mosquitoes and mosquito eggs in the area, the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release on Monday. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is a small, black and white insect that bites during the daytime. The mosquitoes are vectors of various tropical diseases, including yellow fever, dengue fever, and chikungunya virus, as well as Zika.
“Our goal is to control this mosquito population,” said Dr. Anissa Davis, city health officer. “We are doing everything to ensure this mosquito does not become established or thrive in our communities.” Health officials stressed that there had not yet been any local transmission of Zika in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had detected Aedes aaegypti mosquitoes across the southern United States, from California in the west across and up to Connecticut on the east coast. Since the start of 2017, there have been 136 suspected Zika cases in the United States, with all but one found in travelers returning from affected areas. (The other case was acquired through sexual transmission.) California has the third-highest case count with 14 infections, behind Florida on 15 and New York on 26.