The exotic mosquito Culiseta longiareolata appeared in Belgium. The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp announced this Friday, World Mosquito Day (August 20). The animal poses no danger to humans, but it can carry pathogens to birds, such as West Nile virus.
Culiseta longiareolata feels at home from the Azores to Central Asia, but nowadays it can be seen close to home. Over the past 10 years, mosquitoes have appeared more and more in Western and Central Europe, such as Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Mosquitoes have been rarely observed in the north as in the study of the ITM team that monitors exotic mosquito species, the MEMO Project, and discovered mosquitoes in Belgium between 2017 and 2019.
However, the researchers were not surprised. “The confirmed presence of Cs. longiareolata in Belgium and the Netherlands was not unexpected,” says Israa Dablawi, an entomologist at ITM. But this mosquito prefers birds. The risk of mosquito bites is very small and therefore the chance of transmission between humans is also very low.”
The presence of mosquitoes may indicate climate change. Higher temperatures and warmer winters lead to the spread of exotic mosquito species and thus pathogens as well. Globalization plays a role as well. The study points to land and air traffic, the import of used car tires and fresh flowers as potential routes for mosquitoes to our southern neighbors and perhaps also to all of our country.
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