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Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, is a dangerous vector of viruses such as those that cause dengue fever, Chikungunya, yellow fever and other diseases. This small mosquito originated in Africa but is now found in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world.  It has white and black stripes on its body and legs and a marking in the form of a lyre on the thorax. 

Only the female bites mammal hosts for blood, which she needs to mature her eggs. The CDC traveler's page on preventing dengue fever suggests using mosquito repellents that contain DEET (N, N-diethylmetatoluamide, between 20% to 30% concentration, but not more), and also suggests care be taken to wear thick, long-sleeved clothing, mosquito nettings over the bed, and spraying with the insecticide permethrin.

The genome of Aedes aegypti was the second mosquito genus to be sequenced in full, in 2007. The genus Aedes is undergoing reorganization according to recent morphological analyses by Reinert et al. This would change the name of Aedes aegypti to Stegomyia aegypti. Because this species is of great medical and public health importance, this proposed name change is very controversial and some scientists are choosing to ignore the reclassification; at least one scientific journal, the Journal of Medical Entomology, has officially encouraged authors dealing with mosquitoes in the subfamily Aedinae to continue to use the traditional names unless they have particular reasons for doing so. (Editors of The Journal of Medical Entomology; Polaszek 2006; Weaver 2005; Wikipedia 2011; Wikipedia 2011b; WRBU)


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