While many insects sting, mosquitoes bite, either to retrieve food as with the female Anopheles mosquito (pictured below) or as act of aggression (Burns, & Alcock, 2015). The Anopheles hermsi, also known in LA as the Western Malaria mosquito breeds most often in clear pools with matted and collected algae (Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District [GLVCD], 2014).
[Anopheles hermsi mosquito feeding on human host (CDC, 2015)]
In the process, of the female mosquito biting a mammal, the approach is a ‘pierce and sucking’ to capture the serum for her meal; referred to as a “bloodmeal”. The saliva adds in both digestion and as an anticoagulant to thin the blood, thus making it easier to suck. Usually the person who gets bitten knows so when it happens, and might experience reddening of the skin, raised bumps that may or may not itch, and swelling of the tissues. The amount of localized reactions are dependent on the sensitization that occurs when the bite is occurring along with the amount of enzyme involved. Rare to occur, are allergic or anaphylactic reactions, neurotic lesions, and/or blisters. Cellular immunity is responsible for reaction times, although it depends on the person. General treatment for any mosquito bite involves a cortisone or anti-itch cream, a cool water bath, ice, or for rare anaphylactic reactions, an EpiPen which injects Epinephrine into the site of the bite. It can be self-administered and will immediately stop the allergic reaction. Prevention, for the Los Angeles area is to wear clothing that hides the skin, better if its light colored as to not attract the mosquito, and to reduce tim...
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...e United States for active WNV, the CDC (2015) reports that all states but three currently have active human cases of WNV. And finally the state of California, as of October 13, 2015 had 218 neuroinvasive cases of WNV, 93 cases of non-neuroinvasive cases, 13 deaths, and 43 cases found when donated blood was tested (CDC, 2015). To date LA County has 47 reported cases of WNV per ArboNet (2015). Below is a graph showing the WNV cases, week by week, for the state of California.
Lastly, the county of Los Angeles and its district vector control agencies are all watching to see if the El Nino will happen. When it is determined, preparation, planning, and the appropriate reports, including education and prevention in terms of mosquito diseases will be distributed not only throughout LA County but in the state of California for those that will be affected.
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