Belgian’s Health Minister Maggie De Block (Flemish liberals) and several experts fear that the Aedes Albopictur, or Asian tiger mosquito, will be settling here in Belgium. This is reported by newspapers De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad. The mosquito, which spreads the Dengue fever and yellow fever, is normally not found around here. But since 2013, the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp is regularly finding the insect in cargo that enters the country through harbours or airports.
The mosquito is found in shipments of exotic plants from America or Asia, and in loads of old tyres of tractors or airplanes that still contain traces of water. Between 2013 and 2014, four tiger mosquitos and 39 larvae were found in ‘Lucky Bamboo’ plants, and in tyre processing concerns at the Antwerp harbour area and in the province of West Flanders. They were found by a squad that was specifically tracing insects that come along with cargo from Asia, reported Isra Deblauwe, who is a biologist at the Antwerp Tropical Institute.
Experts assume that the tiger mosquito will settle here and will be able to infect us in the long haul. It is probably too late to stop this, but good monitoring might slow down the process, says Minister De Block after a parliamentary question.
The Antwerp Tropical Institute is keeping an eye on the bug. “Right now, it seems like the mosquitos are unable to survive the colder temperatures of our winters, but the Asian tiger mosquito is putting great pressure on Europe. We’re very worried about this”, explains Maxime Madder, supervising Professor of Veterinary Entomology at the Tropical Institute. The more general culprit is climate change. Warmer temperatures are allowing the Asian tiger mosquito to reside and thrive here.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is also warning people about the dangers of the Aedes Albopictur. Apart from Dengue and yellow fever, it can also infect humans with the West Nile virus, and 20 other dangerous, and potentially even lethal viruses.
‘Vector-borne’ infections carried by mosquitoes and other biting insects are heading towards Europe. Biggest cause is global warming, but also import and export of products, said British scientists. According to the scientists there will be a huge increase in these vector-borne infections in the coming decades. For example; malaria, dengue, chikungunya or the West Nile Virus, four diseases caused by mosquito bites. In the past decade insect-borne infections have spread into new territories across Europe. Examples include malaria in Greece, West Nile Virus in eastern Europe, and chikungunya in Italy and France. Normal winters in Europe are too cold for larvae of the malaria- or dengue-mosquito to survive, but due to climate change temperatures are rising. Climate change models show that just a rise of 2°C in temperature could extend the mosquito’s activity season by one month and geographical spread by up to 30% by 2030, said the researchers writing in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. Yet this is not the only cause. According to the researchers, also urbanization, migration and socio-economic developments play their part. For example imported tires seem to be the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Larvae of mosquitoes can survive more easily in the grooves of tires between leaf litter and rainwater.
Mensen die van plan zijn om naar de Caraïben of naar Centraal- en Zuid-Amerika reizen, moeten voorzorgsmaatregelen nemen om besmetting met het chikungunyavirus te voorkomen. Dat zegt het Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde in Antwerpen (ITG). Het chikungunyavirus is momenteel aan een opmars bezig in Zuid-Amerika.
In 2014 is het aantal personen dat uit een Zuid-Amerikaans land terugkeerde naar België met een Chikungunya-infectie dramatisch gestegen. In 2014 kwamen er al 64 Belgische reizigers met een chikungunya-infectie terug uit Midden- en Zuid-Amerika, met name uit de Dominicaanse Republiek en Haïti. Sinds de ziekte een jaar geleden de kop op stak in de Caraïben zijn er al meer dan een miljoen mensen in Midden- en Zuid-Amerika besmet geraakt. Hoewel de ziekte maar weinig levens eist, krijgen vier op de vijf patiënten wel last van pijnlijke ziekteverschijnselen, zoals hevige gewrichtspijnen, die soms lang aanslepen.
• Gebruik muggenwerende middelen met DEET (In een aantal getroffen landen is er momenteel schaarste aan muggenwerende middelen. Voorzie dus zelf voldoende muggenwerende middelen alvorens afreizen.)
• Draag overdag lange mouwen en lange broekspijpen.
• Verblijf zo mogelijk in goed afgeschermde kamers (muskietengaas, muskietennet) met airconditioning.
Om het volledige artikel te lezen op de website gezondheid.be, volg volgende link: http://www.gezondheid.be/index.cfm?fuseaction=art&art_id=17523
On Tuesday the 27th of May, 2014, the Belgian newspaper ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ published an article on hybrid mosquitoes on its website:
According to Dutch scientists, a crossbreed between the common house mosquito and the molestus mosquito, would create a mosquito that would take both mammals and birds as its prey. This could have serious consequences for public health.
The common house mosquito has birds as its main source of blood meals, and is mostly active during the warmer seasons, the article explains. The molestus mosquito on the other hand, is also active during the winter period and has a preference for humans and mammals. A hybrid of these 2 species would thus create a mosquito that would get its blood meal from both birds and humans. This makes transferring viruses from birds to humans easier.
According to Marc Coosemans of the ‘Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde’ in Antwerp, mosquitoes that sting both birds as humans form a risk, and the preferred biting pattern of this mosquito should be further investigated. The hybrid species are present in Belgium, but also Russia and the USA. Otherwise, Coosemans does explain not all germs present on birds can be transferred to humans.
To read the full acticle (in Dutch) on the webside of ‘Het Nieuwsblad’, please follow this link: http://www.nieuwsblad.be/article/detail.aspx?articleid=dmf20140527_01121275&utm_source=nieuwsblad&utm_medium=social&utm_content=footer&utm_campaign=send-to-a-friend&utm_term=1C2UI6QP
On the 25th of April, 2014, Bill Gates stated on his blog that not sharks, or snakes are the most deadliest animals to humans. The most deadly animals are mosquito’s!!
Each year, mosquitoes are responsible for over 725.000 deaths, mainly due to the transmission of malaria. Malaria alone kills more than 600.000 people every year!
So we cannot stress it enough: when you go to an area known to be infected by malaria, protect yourselves!
More info on our products to protect yourself can be found by this link: http://www.jaico.be/insect-repellents
To read the whole article on the Bill Gates’ blog, visit http://www.gatesnotes.com/Health/Most-Lethal-Animal-Mosquito-Week
The long process of development of the European Biocides Legislation starts slowly, and much later then expected, to get shape. For many this might be a bad thing, for Jaico as an expert in the field of repellents and registration, this is a positive development. Moreover at the end of 2013 Jaico RDP was the first and only with an EU registration for deet repellents. Jaico RDP chose as Reference Member State the Netherlands, this witnessed courage and confidence for not choosing her native country, but an external state for evaluation of the dossiers. The Netherlands are one of the strictest and an authority in this area in the EU. EU registrations allow all EU Member States to come on the market, with a maximum duration of 4 months. Given the continuing confirmation of the rise of the Asian Tiger Mosquito in Western Europe, this is a promising evolution.