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Update from March 11, 2019: New mosquito species located in Hesse
The Senckenberger Research Institute recently identified a population of the Asian mosquito species Aedes koreicus in Hessen. The researchers consider this to be a harbinger of a widespread spread of the exotic mosquito in Germany. The new mosquito species was discovered in Augsburg in 2015, then in Wiesbaden in 2017. Now the research team was able to find larvae and pupae of the exotic again in a current study.
"It is therefore likely that an entire population has overwintered in Hesse and this mosquito is slowly beginning to spread in Germany," explains Professor Dr. Sven Klimpel from the Senckenberg Research Institute. According to the experts, Aedes koreicus is considered a potential disease carrier. The mosquitoes can spread both the Japanese encephalitis virus and the Chikungunya virus. Furthermore, they are considered to be transmitters of nematodes (dirofilaria). The researchers recently presented their investigations in the specialist journal "Parasitology Research".
Strong spread of mosquitoes that transmit disease
Diseases such as dengue, zika, chikungunya and yellow fever have increased significantly worldwide. Some tropical diseases have also reached Europe a long time ago. In 2018, the West Nile fever spread to northern Italy and mosquitoes with the pathogen were also discovered in the Czech Republic. A recent study examined the spread of the two most dangerous mosquito species and comes to the conclusion that we are facing a mosquito infestation.
An international research team recently analyzed the upcoming threat from mosquito-borne diseases. According to the researchers, climate change has created favorable conditions for the spread of dangerous mosquitoes. Global mobility is also accelerating the spread of mosquitoes, according to the study. In a few years, every second person will be within the reach of the disease-transmitting bloodsucker, predict the study results that were recently presented in the renowned journal "Nature".
Egyptian and Asian tiger mosquitoes on the rise
The tiger mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are among the most dangerous mosquito species worldwide. Countries with a temperate climate such as Germany have so far largely been spared the dangerous mosquitoes, as these species only feel at home in warmer areas. In the course of global warming, however, the tiger mosquito continues to penetrate new habitats.
Soon, every second person will be threatened by tropical diseases
The research group first identified the factors that favor the spread of the tiger mosquito. The team then used these factors, along with the data from the spread of the past 40 years, to calculate how the mosquito would spread in the coming decades. “The models predict that by the year 2050 around half of the world's population will live within the range of these species,” said the researchers.
Many urban areas are suitable as a habitat for tiger mosquitoes
"If no measures are taken to reduce the current climate, new habitats for the tiger mosquito will open in many urban areas," warns Dr. Moritz Kraemer of the University of Oxford (UK) in a press release on the study results. This could cause the spread of tropical diseases to skyrocket and lead to veritable epidemics.
150 kilometers of new European catchment area every year
The team collected historical data on the mosquito species Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus at over 3,000 locations in Europe and the United States, which date back to the 1970s. Using a model, the researchers calculated which habitats would be suitable for the mosquito in 2050 and 2080. Common travel patterns and migrations were also taken into account. The researchers showed that the tiger mosquito is spreading at a rapid pace in Europe. Every year, the mosquito's habitat expands by around 150 kilometers. In the United States, the mosquito even spreads north at a speed of 240 kilometers per year.
For Germany, the Asian tiger mosquito in particular is becoming a problem
According to the distribution model, the Egyptian tiger mosquito will mainly spread to southern Italy and Turkey, whereas the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is expected to spread throughout Europe. According to the researchers, large parts of France and Germany will be populated by the mosquito within the next 30 years. The dangerous West Nile virus has already been found in mosquitoes in the Czech Republic. The virus has also spread widely on the Adriatic.
This is how you can protect yourself
In the video you can see some tips on how to keep mosquitoes out of their environment. Notes: Effective home remedies for mosquitoes.
Which factors are the strongest?
According to the analysis, the distribution is currently most strongly promoted by human movements. However, this will change within the next five to 15 years. Then the progressive warming will reach a point where the climatic conditions will automatically promote the spread of the mosquito, the researchers predict. "With this new work, we can begin to guess how environmental change will affect the transmission of diseases like dengue and zika," added Professor Simon I. Hay of the University of Washington. He hopes that such data will also be included in future political decisions.
The researchers strongly recommend establishing a corresponding system for mosquito monitoring and its control in all affected European countries with emerging Aedes albopictus populations. This could probably prevent the further spread of tiger mosquitoes. Because the tiger mosquito can be specifically eliminated. (vb)