The Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday reminded the public to be alert to mosquitoes, following confirmation of the first indigenous case of dengue fever in New Taipei City this year.
The virus can be carried by different species, and the public should know how to differentiate between them, CDC officials said.
In north Taiwan, the primary carrier of dengue is Aedes albopictus, or the Asian tiger mosquito, while the primary carrier in the south is Aedes aegypti, or the yellow fever mosquito.
Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control
The Asian tiger mosquito can be identified by a distinctive white stripe running down its thorax, as well as white flecks on its feet, while the yellow fever mosquito has two yellowish stripes, the agency said.
The Asian tiger mosquito is usually found outdoors and near shady places with stagnant water, such as plants, detritus or garbage, as well as discarded tires, the centers said, adding that it can also be found near bamboo groves, abandoned houses or in tall grass.
The yellow fever mosquito frequents indoor places, although it also seeks shady and damp places, such as the kitchen, bedroom corners, behind curtains or dark-colored clothing, it said.
An Asian tiger mosquito is usually not alert and often does not stop feeding until it has had its fill, while a yellow fever mosquito is often alert and would halt feeding if it senses movement, the agency said.
The centers warned people who live in apartments on higher floors to be wary of potential mosquito breeding grounds near their buildings, basement or parking garages.
While it is difficult for mosquitoes to fly 10 higher than 10 stories, they can circumvent that by riding upward drafts or flying into elevators, the centers said.
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