An Overview of the Aedes Japonicus Mosquito infection

What is the Aedes Japonicus?

The Aedes Japonicus is an Asian mosquito originating from Korea, South China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. The Aedes Japonicus adult female is considered to be a medium sized mosquito. It is dark brown to nearly black in appearance but has noticeable white scales on its legs and body. It was not until 1998 that the species was found in America. Infestation was first reported in New York and New Jersey and has since spread to Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, and, Ohio. 

Where is the Aedes Japonicus found?

The preferred site of breeding for the Aedes Japonicus are areas with natural shade and organically rich water. The larvae of the Aedes Japonicus can be found in artificial and natural containers in our environment. It is hypothesized that the larvae, pupae, and eggs of the Aedes Japonicus has been transported to various areas in used tires, introducing infestation to new areas. The eggs of the Aedes Japonicus are extremely resilient to drying out and can withstand months of dry conditions. The Aedes Japonicus typically spends winter in the egg stage but there have been findings of larvae during a Tokyo winter, comparable to the latitude of Norfolk, Virginia.

As adults, the Aedes Japonicus prefers areas with dense woods and tends to be most active during the day. Under experimental conditions, they bite mice and chicks while avoiding reptiles and amphibians. Scientists are conducting further studies to better understand their feeding patterns.

What are the diseases associated with Aedes Japonicus?

There have been relatively few scientific studies regarding the health issues posed by the Aedes Japonicus. It is reported that the species could be a maintenance vector of the Japanese encephalitis virus to pigs. Experiments have resulted in the transmission of the Japanese encephalitis to mice by the Aedes Japonicus under laboratory conditions. Studies have also shown that the Aedes Japonicus can pass on the virus to its offspring through its eggs. There are reports from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases that suggest the Aedes Japonicus to be a vector of the West Nile virus, but the findings by the institution in Fort Detrick, MD, have yet to be published.

Can the Aedes Japonicus be avoided?

Wearing protective clothing is the best bet against being bitten by the Aedes Japonicus. Especially in areas known to be infested by biting insects, take care to wear long sleeves and long legged pants. Consider various types of insect repellents designed to prevent bites. For recommendations of reputable brands, consult your medical professional. 

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