Long Beach city health officials are warning people that for the first time, they've detected mosquitoes that can transmit Zika, dengue fever and other viruses.
The mosquitoes (otherwise known as Aedes aegypti for all you Latin fanatics), were found in North Long Beach in traps that 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 have found specimens of Aedes aegypti in other Southern California areas, but this was the first sign of them in Long Beach. The quarter-inch, large, black-and-white insect is known as an aggressive specimen and will bite during the daytime.
Residents are being urged to take precautions to help stop the mosquitoes by eliminating their breeding grounds. Some measures people can take include:
- 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
- ensuring screens on doors and windows are in good repair
Health officials are urging residents to report any sightings of the insects by calling the Zika hotline at (562) 570-7907.