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Disease-carrying mosquito reaches B.C.

BURNABY – A species of invasive, disease-carrying mosquito has been found in British Columbia — the first such discovery for all of Western Canada.

A team from Simon Fraser University and workers with a mosquito control company say the species, Aedes japonicus, was found in mosquito larvae in standing water in Maple Ridge, a suburb east of Vancouver.

A report published in the Journal of Medical Entomology says researchers believe the mosquito could be a significant threat to the health of humans and domestic animals.

The breed, also known as the Asian bush mosquito, is native to Asia but has been found in Eastern Canada and the United States and a sub-species has been discovered in Oregon and Washington state.

Researchers are now studying the insects found in hopes of pinpointing exactly where they came from, but say it’s unlikely they arrived without human intervention.

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The mosquito has the potential to transmit several diseases, including West Nile Virus, numerous varieties of encephalitis, and dengue fever.

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