Deadly disease carrying mosquitoes found in Spain

Concerns over new breed of mosquito

MOSQUITOES known to carry deadly diseases including dengue and yellow fever have been found in Spain.

According to reports, health officials on Fuertaventura in the Canary Islands have said that the Aedes aegypti species, known to also spread the Zika virus, were found on the Las Granadas urbanisation on the island.

After the discovery, a private firm was sent in to clear the insects, with homeowners reportedly told to abandon their homes for up to two days.

In a statement released by Canary Island regional health authority,  officials confirmed that work was being carried out to “locate and inspect possible breeding grounds.”

The statement said: “An initial intervention is taking place in Fuerteventura with a larger number of traps being set and surveys taking place in houses near to the area where the mosquito has been detected to determine the spread and the area in which the work to eradicate them needs to be undertaken.

“Work to locate and inspect possible breeding grounds is also being carried out.

“All this will give us the vital information we need to proceed to the quick and effective eradication of the mosquito.

“The mere presence of the mosquito doesn’t mean that illnesses like dengue, Zika, yellow fever and chikungunya are being spread as they are not present in the Canary Islands except for sporadic cases.”

It is believed that the insects arrived in Spain via freight ships when they were still eggs, but further tests are being carried out to confirm this.

The insect originated in Africa, but can now be found in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world and is also known to carry other viruses including Mayaro and Chikungunya, which to date has no cure.

The mosquitoes were also blamed for 30 cases of Dengue fever in the Portugese city of Madeira in 2005, a disease that is reportedly responsible for the deaths of more than 300 people in Brazil alone in 2011. 

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