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Second Mosquito Border Interception at Auck Port

Second Mosquito Border Interception at Auckland Port

A second mosquito find by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Quarantine staff in less than two weeks has seen public health authorities take swift
action again to prevent an exotic insect from becoming established in this country.

This time 15 larvae of the species believed to be Aedes albopictus were found in a water hose container on the side of sewer truck. Aedes albopictus,
also known as the Asian Tiger mosquito, is of particular concern because not only might it carry the Ross River Virus, it is an excellent vector
(transmitter) for Dengue fever and Yellow fever.

The larvae were found on the ship Rigeletto V4 , which had last docked at Japan and was carrying vehicles to New Zealand. The larvae were intercepted
on Wednesday the 18th of March, less than 24 hours after the ship had docked in Auckland.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Sally Gilbert said the container where the larvae were found was immediately treated with kerosene and Bti, and the
truck was fumigated. The vehicle decks on the ship were 'fogged' with another control agent, a knock down artificial pyrethrum agent, in case there
were any adult mosquitoes on board.

"We're confident that these measures would have eradicated any other mosquitoes, but a programme of enhanced surveillance has also begun, with
checking the surrounding area and placing a number of adult and larval mosquito traps in the vicinity," said Ms Gilbert, Chief Technical Officer
(Health) for Biosecurity.

"We're awaiting confirmation from Australian experts that the mosquito is Aedes albopictus, although this looks like the mosquito we're dealing with."

Ms Gilbert said the Rigeletto V4 had been cleared to leave Auckland and arrived in Wellington last night. It was checked there for any further signs
of mosquitoes, and in the unlikely event that anything was found further action would be taken. Health protection staff in Christchurch were also
standing by for when the vessel arrives at Lyttleton after it leaves Wellington.

The finding of mosquitoes on Wednesday follows a similar find last Sunday at Auckland Port, where two species of exotic mosquito were intercepted by
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Quarantine Service.

Auckland Public Health Authorities acted swiftly, treating the area on board the ship and beginning monitoring the surrounding dock. To date there
have been no further discoveries from that interception.

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