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Exotic Mosquito Found At Auckland Wharf

A TRAPPING programme is underway at ports in Auckland after the discovery on Saturday of larvae and pupae of an exotic mosquito thought to be Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito.

Dr Bob Boyd, chief technical officer for biosecurity in the Ministry of Health, said the exact species of mosquito had not yet been confirmed and that a sample had been sent to Australia for further examination and comment before a conclusive identification was made. He said the yellow fever mosquito is an unwanted organism that may be a vector for yellow fever, dengue fever, Barmah Forest virus and Ross River virus.

"Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry border control staff doing a surveillance check found several mosquito larvae and pupae in a rubbish hopper at Freyberg Wharf, Ports of Auckland," Dr Boyd said. "One of the larva may be Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, but the remainder of the larvae were local mosquito species."

The wharf is used for both containerised cargo and imported used vehicles and machinery. MAF quarantine staff and Auckland District Health Board health protection officers began immediate containment and eradication, including fumigating the rubbish hopper, fogging adjacent buildings with insecticide, setting additional surveillance traps in the area, and checking and treating stormwater drains in the area with insecticide. Dr Boyd said vehicles on the wharf and in nearby buildings had been checked and treated. Potential habitat for mosquitoes within a 400 metre zone of the interception site had been inspected and treated, but no larvae were found in these sites.

For further information contact; Angus Barclay, Media Advisor, Ministry of Health Tel: 04- 496-2067 Internet Address; http://www.moh.govt.nz

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