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Published On: Wed, Sep 11th, 2019

Nebraska: Zika, dengue mosquito, Aedes aegypti, seen for 1st time in state

Nebraska state health officials are reporting for the first time the identification of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in the state.

State and local officials discovered this mosquito in York County.

Image/CDC

Aedes aegypti is common in more tropical climates where it transmits such diseases as Zika virus, chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever.

“Aedes aegypti can carry and transmit various diseases that can have serious health consequences like Zika virus, chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever, and that is of concern to public health officials,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS. “However, the transmission of these pathogens would require a person currently infected with such a disease to be bitten by an Aedes aegypti mosquito and then that mosquito would need to bite another uninfected person. The risk of these infections to local residents is low but also dependent on the presence or arrival of an infected individual in the area.”

The Aedes aegypti bites primarily in the daytime and only feeds on people. It doesn’t have the ability to fly very far, only about 500 feet.

“This discovery underscores the importance of our mosquito trapping system,” said Dr. Safranek. “Tracking and monitoring the types of mosquitoes that exist in Nebraska communities is critical, which in turn helps us identify potential public health implications and implement prevention measures to reduce risk.”

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