The ‘Aedes albopictus’, known colloquially as tiger mosquito, has increased its presence by 70% compared to the previous year during the first semester of 2020, according to data from the Mosquito Alert project with which the National Association of Environmental Health Companies (ANECPLA) collaborates.
“High temperatures, heavy rains and the lack of maintenance of second homes, due to confinement by the coronavirusThis spring they have constituted the perfect Molotov cocktail that has driven the dizzying proliferation of the tiger mosquito this summer, “they explain in a statement.
The association also points out this year a special increase in these insects because, “during the period of confinement, many second homes have remained closed and without maintenance by their owners, who have not been able to go to them.” “The rains that have taken place in this period have filled drinking troughs with domestic animals, flowerpots, toys that have been left in the gardens … All of them are exceptional places for the female tiger mosquito to deposit her eggs there”, explains the director general of ANECPLA, Milagros Fernández de Lezeta.
The risks of the presence of the tiger mosquito lie in its ability to transmit up to 22 different types of viruses, associated with potentially fatal diseases such as Zika virus, Dengue or Chikungunya, among others. According to the Ministry of Health, in the last five years, a period in which this insect has doubled its presence, Spain has registered more than 1,800 cases of these three diseases.
Since 2018, Spain began to register autochthonous cases of Dengue, a contagious disease for which today there is no cure. Specifically, in 2018 there were six cases and one more in 2019. “The risk of new outbreaks this year is a reality, especially in the Levante area, where its prevalence is higher and where the mobility of people in the summer months is also higher. These factors, added to the humidity and high temperatures, put the focus of experts in this area, without neglecting many others in the national territory, “they highlight from ANECPLA.
For all this, and in the coronavirus pandemic, ANECPLA considers “of vital importance reinforce control measuresl, both on the part of the Public Administrations and the general population, in order to try to contain as much as possible the presence of this species and stop its spread “.