By Chris King •
Updated: 27 Sep 2023 • 20:13
Image of Aedes Albopictus - Tiger Mosquito.
Credit: Wikipedia - By James Gathany, CDC (PHIL) Public Domain
THE Aedes albopictus species of mosquito has been identified in the Municipality of Lisbon for the first time.
In a state ment distributed to the media this Wednesday, September 27, Portugal’s Directorate-General for Health (DGS) informs that the insect can transmit diseases such as chikungunya, dengue and zika to humans.
Although the presence of the mosquito – also referred to as the Asian or Tiger mosquito – is not unprecedented in the country, it had never been detected in Lisbon until now.
‘The mosquito was detected for the first time in the country in 2017, in the North region and, later, in the Algarve region (2018) and Alentejo (2022)’, the statement said, according to sicnoticias.pt.
It continued: ‘Its expansion throughout southern Europe is known, where it has been established, in recent years, in countries such as Italy, France and Spain‘.
The DGS emphasized however, that: ‘So far, no disease agents that can be transmitted to people have been identified in these mosquitoes, nor have any cases of human disease been recorded’.
Even so, the DGS informed that it had subsequently: ‘reinforced entomological and epidemiological surveillance, and the implementation of measures to control the mosquito population is underway’.
Over the border in the neighbouring country of Spain, many communities have seen an increase in the numbers of this insect in recent years.
With Europe currently experiencing longer and hotter summers, many experts are blaming climate change for the rise in these mosqitoes.
For anybody wishing to get close enough to distinguish its features, a Tiger mosquito is characterised by the white bands on its legs and body – just like a tiger has.
As with other mosquito species, the female is the only one that feeds on blood in orderto develop their eggs. Otherwise, they are known to feed on nectar and other sweet plant juices just as the males do.
Mosquitoes are normally attracted by carbon dioxide and other organic substances produced by the host it decides to feed on.
Because they bite multiple hosts during the development cycle of their eggs, this makes the Tiger mosquito particularly efficient at transmitting diseases.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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