All reported bites will be investigated by health professionals, through a survey, a photograph of the bite and the affected area, among other things.
Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands reports that the Canary Islands Entomological Surveillance System has deployed a
hundred new traps for the surveillance and detection of
Aedes Aegypti mosquito in La Palmaafter the discovery of two larvae of this species.
The Aedes aegypti is a vector for the transmission of viral diseases in other geographical areas where these pathologies are common, which is not the case in the Canary Islands. In addition, it must be remembered that
the sequencing of the larvae verified that it does not contain a virus that carries communicable diseasesalthough it is also necessary to activate the surveillance protocol.
Currently, the team of the Entomological Surveillance System, coordinated by the General Directorate of Public Health in collaboration with the Directorate of the Health Area of La Palma, has already trained the Public Health inspectors and the island's pharmacists on the
bite surveillance program, by carrying out citizen surveys that warn of the presence of mosquitoes suspected of belonging to the Aedes Aegypti species or of compatible bites. In addition, it is also alerting the
health professionals of Primary and Specialized Careregarding the data to be taken into account if there is any notification in this regard.
All reported bites will be investigated by health professionals, through a survey of the affected person, a photograph of the bite, affected body area and subsequent inspection of the home to search for and identify mosquitoes, their larvae or their eggs.
In addition, a centralized device has been installed in the Health Area of La Palma that is responsible for
organize the distribution of the traps and the collection of the material obtained for the maturation of the eggs and larvae, for their subsequent shipment to the Institute of Tropical Diseases and Public Health of the University of La Laguna. Once there, the final identification of the species and the sequencing of its genetic material will be carried out, in order to investigate the presence of the virus and its origin.
Since the two Aedes aegypti larvae were detected, an initial prevention action has been carried out, expanding the ratio of trap placement at different points to those established in the usual protocol. The traps are installed at points considered to be at greatest risk, such as
greenhouses, banana packing plants, cemeteries and tire dumpsBesides of
port and airport where they are already by protocol.
The objective of the Canary Islands Entomological Surveillance System is
early detection of adult specimens, eggs or larvae of invasive mosquitoeswhich already detected the presence of this mosquito in Fuerteventura in 2017, managing to eradicate it definitively.
The effectiveness of the Surveillance system must be highlighted, capable of detecting even the larvae and eggs of invasive mosquitoes early, before their presence has been reported or before they have caused bites in the population of the island.
However, it is also important to point out that
The presence of the mosquito does not mean that there is transmission of diseases such as dengue, zika, yellow fever or chikungunyasince these are not present in our territory, except for sporadic imported cases.
citizen collaboration is important in this task of monitoring invasive species in the Canary Islands. To do this, you can contact the General Directorate of Public Health, sending photos of the suspected mosquito to the email [email protected]. They can also send photos of bites that they consider suspicious due to the strong inflammatory reaction accompanied by great itching. Whenever photos of suspicious specimens or bites are sent, it is essential to clearly indicate the geographical location where the mosquito was detected or the suspicious bite was produced.
Aedes mosquitoes are black with stripes and smaller than the usual ones in our territory, they appear more in urban environments and have adapted to reproduce in small water points generated by man. They usually bite during the day and not at night and their bite generates a strong inflammatory reaction that is accompanied by a great stinging. They move nimbly close to the ground and no buzzing is heard.
The female mosquitoes are the ones that bite, since they need to feed on blood to reproduce. As well
they need water (breeding points) to complete their development. They lay their eggs in the water, from which the larvae will emerge, which will later transform into pupae (both aquatic) and which will finally become mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes that bite humans need to be breeding very close to them. That is why the most effective measure against them is to monitor or eliminate their breeding points.
Since the beginning of this surveillance program, citizen collaboration has been considered very important to identify possible invasive mosquitoes and the elimination of their breeding sites.