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Illinois Scientists Study Disease-Carrying Mosquito’s Spread

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Thanks to unintentional reintroductions and adaptive strategies that enable it to survive the state's harsh winters, the Asian tiger mosquito is becoming more abundant in Illinois.

CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois researchers are studying how a disease-carrying mosquito has spread in the state for decades.

They focused on Asian tiger mosquitoes, an invasive bug that can spread dengue fever and other diseases. The mosquitoes originated in southeast Asia, came to Texas in the 1980s and spread to Illinois.

Researchers at a division of the university’s Prairie Research Institute say the mosquitoes were able to weather winters in cities like Chicago, which are warmer because of the roads and concrete, surviving in places like sewers and subways.

Their findings were published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. 

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