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New research suggests that deforestation in Mexico probably helped a strain of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, VEE subtype IE, make its way into a new mosquito, Ochlerotatus taeniorhynchus. Culex (Melanoconion) taeniopus was the preferred vector of VEE IE before deforestation wiped out this mosquito in large parts of Mexico. Unlike the Culex species, and unfortunately for horses and humans, O taeniorhynchus prefers large mammals and does not need forest to survive.

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