Warning Of Tiger Mosquito In Spain

Spain Is Among Highest Cases Of Tiger Mosquito In Europe Thanks To Climate Change

Tiger mosquito. Credit: Mario Saccomano/Shutterstock.com

Climate change is being blamed for the early appearance of the tiger mosquito, and reportedly ‘Spain is one of the countries with the highest number of cases.’

The tiger mosquito transmits viruses such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya, and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) it has seen an increase as a result of climate change, writes 20minutos, Monday, June 26.

Last April WHO issued a warning to the world, although more specifically to southern Europe. ‘The tiger mosquito has increased its presence due to latitude and altitude,’ said the organisation’s technical chief, Diana Rojas Álvarez.

Dr Mikel Bengoa, a specialist in mosquitoes, said: ‘Greece, Italy and Spain are the countries that are currently registering the most cases’ In the case of Spain, the Mediterranean coast is the most affected area due to its warm climate.

The problem has also been exacerbated owing to the high temperatures and the rains of recent months which have contributed to the mosquito’s early appearance, as the warm, humid environments are key to its reproduction and the appearance of the insects.

It appears that this particular species has a preference for urban environments, as many of the breeding sites are in private properties with gardens, swimming pools or lawns. Expert Mikel Bengoa comments: ‘One of its successes is its ability to adapt to the climate, as well as the fact that it has adapted very well to breeding in new territories.’

As if that were not enough, it only needs small accumulations of stagnant water to lay its eggs: ‘A small glass that you leave behind in the garden or the plate of a flowerpot with a little water in it is enough for the female to lay eggs,’ explains Javier Lucién.

Bengoa went on to explain that the tiger mosquito originates ‘from Southeast Asia, from the area of Thailand or Vietnam.’ Its curious name has a very specific reason. The fact that it is called ‘tiger’ is due to “the way it bites people, very similar to the way the Bengal tiger does. It gets into the vegetation and from there, it comes out to bite us.’

Thankfully the risk of contracting viruses such as Zika, dengue or chikungunya are low. Experts assure that these diseases are endemic in tropical and subtropical areas, especially in Asia and South America, although not in Europe. Which is why cases of these viruses are very few in Spain.

Mikel Bengoa explained what to do when one of these mosquitoes bites us. What it does is ‘inject us with saliva,’ causing an ‘allergic reaction, which makes the skin swell up a little.’

However, its bite, if it does not contain any virus, ‘is the same as that of a normal mosquito,’ explains Barceló. However, the difference with other mosquitoes ‘is that it bites during the day and can bite several times.’

In the same way, the bite of this type of mosquito does not pose any risk, unless the person in question is allergic, in which case ‘they may need an antihistamine, but nothing more.’

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Ordinary Joe

      27 June 2023 • 19:34

      Thankfully the risk of contracting viruses such as Zika, dengue or chikungunya are low….eh!!!
      There are now two ‘Tiger’s’ in Spain, the Asian [white striped] and the Egyptian.
      Both are recognised vectors of some pretty awful diseases, Zika, dengue or chikungunya, and older bugs, Yellow Jack, West Nile Fever, Encephalitis, and dog heartworm.
      For ‘Vector’ think hypodermic syringe.
      Now mix someone infected and coming from Asia or Africa, and bitten by a Spanish mosquito who will spread that disease or diseases to others in turn.
      And it already happened: –
      “In 2012, a large outbreak of dengue fever, associated with Ae. aegypti, occurred in the Portuguese Autonomous Region of Madeira.
      The epidemic started in October 2012 and by early January 2013 more than 2 200 cases of dengue fever had been reported, with an additional 78 cases reported among European travellers returning from the island”.
      If that occurred on the Costa’s tourism would dry up.
      But there is a cure.
      Releasing genetically modified sterile male mosquitoes causes collapse of Aedes Aegypti mosquito colonies.

      Will Officialdom ace the Skeeters before the Skeeters ace Tourism?

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