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Australian mosquito appears in California

September 16, 2014

MONTEREY PARK, California (AP) — Officials say an Australian mosquito has made what is believed to be its first U.S. appearance in the Los Angeles area.

Los Angeles County vector control officials said in a statement Tuesday that the mosquito that goes by the nickname Aussie Mozzie has been found in Monterey Park and nearby Montebello.

The mosquito can transmit the nonfatal Barmah Forest and Ross River viruses to humans, though neither has ever been reported in the county. It also can give heartworm to dogs.

The specimens were discovered during searches for the Asian tiger mosquito, which was first found in Southern California in 2011 and can carry more dangerous diseases.

Scientists at the University of Sydney helped identify the Aussie Mozzie with pictures.

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