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Killer diseases are brought to Europe by invasive mosquitoes


As a result of heat waves and flooding, invading mosquitoes have been able to establish themselves further north and west in the region, leading to more locally acquired dengue cases in Europe in 2022 than there were in the entire prior decade.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on Thursday released data that serves as a stern warning that the spread of mosquito-borne diseases on the Continent may be influenced by climate change as well as other variables including migration and land use change. Director of the ECDC Andrea Ammon issued a warning that viruses including dengue, chikungunya, and West Nile fever may cause increased cases and even fatalities in Europe.

There were 71 locally acquired dengue cases in 2022, with 65 occurring in France and six in Spain. West Nile virus cases peaked as well, with 1,133 cases and 92 fatalities. 1,112 of the cases, or the majority, were locally acquired, with more than 700 of them occurring in Italy. The number of illnesses is at its highest level since 2018, when a significant outbreak during last year’s heat wave killed 180 people in ten different nations.

Typically, dengue causes moderate to no symptoms, but it can sometimes cause high fever, excruciating headaches, and vomiting. Gum bleeding, abdominal pain, and, in some cases, death are all possible outcomes of severe dengue. Although the West Nile virus normally causes no symptoms, in some persons it can cause fever, headaches, and skin rashes. Severe instances can also result in a coma, paralysis, or even death.

The Asian tiger mosquito, which can spread the chikungunya and dengue viruses, and the yellow fever mosquito, which can spread the dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, zika, and West Nile viruses, are the two mosquitoes whose spread in Europe is most alarming.

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