In the southern English county of Kent, scientists are on high alert for mosquito strains to arrive in the country as warm weather helps them reproduce and grow to gradually settle in the UK. Today, scientists fear a new type of mosquito that has not yet become endemic but is beginning to arrive.
In this regard, the director of the Department of Medical Entomology, Julion Medlock, told Sky News Arabia: "We have detected the appearance of this mosquito 6 times, all in the southeast of England, and with climate change and the continuation of warm weather for longer periods, the conditions become more ripe for it to breed every time it comes to the country."
The tiger mosquito has been rampant in Europe since it was first spotted in Italy in 1990 and today breeds in 13 countries and according to scientists, it is expected to become endemic to the UK within 50 years if its influx continues in the current form.
Professor of Tropical Diseases at the University of London says. Oliver Brady: "This mosquito transmits serious diseases, although they rarely lead to death, but they require long hospital treatment, and if this mosquito transmits them to large areas of the world, history tells us that simple diseases can turn into epidemics."
Scientists are closely monitoring riverbeds to eradicate any strains that emerge from the mosquito to eliminate them as quickly as needed, but the speed at which it is spreading in Europe suggests that this will not be enough.
The effects of climate change in Britain are no longer limited to the decline in river levels due to the lack of rain and the rise in temperatures to unprecedented rates, but today threaten the emergence of diseases and health problems that the British did not know before.
- The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, part of the European Union Health Authority, warned that "changing climatic conditions increase the risk of diseases transmitted by such mosquito species, which are currently increasingly prevalent in Europe."
- These species are "known vectors of chikungunya, Zika, dengue, West Nile, bile and other viruses, which are spreading in the north and west of the continent," the Stockholm-based center announced.
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- Thus, due to global warming, Europe's climate will become hotter, floods will become more powerful, and summers will become longer and hotter, according to the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
- This creates more favorable conditions for the life of invasive mosquito species, such as the Asian tiger mosquito, which is so called because it is black-and-white striped.
- 10 years ago, the mosquito was found in 8 European countries, and is now widespread in 13 countries.
- Although it is native to Asia and the countries of South-East Asia in particular, in recent years, with the intensification of climate change, it has become apparent in new regions of the world.
- Experts warn that the threat of climate change has become existential, affecting various forms of life on our planet and threatening to damage ecosystems, and that urgent international action is required to ward off this danger and curb its further excess.
In this regard, environmental expert Ayman Kaddouri said in an interview with Sky News Arabia:
- "The repercussions of climate change that disrupt the rules of the natural ecosystem, and threaten to destroy it, are not limited to its main recognized features, such as desertification, drought, water shortages, scarcity of rain in some areas, density in others, and melting ice."
- "They lead to various forms of extremes in natural and biological phenomena, such as the emergence of species and insects on continents and environments where they did not exist at all, as a result of dramatic changes in ecosystems."
- "This is the case with the spread of this tiger mosquito, for example, in many European countries, which are characterized by their ferocity and their bites differ from other similar species, in that they transmit serious and deadly diseases, which explains the growing European concern about them."
Kaddouri pointed to the importance of international meetings that take place in this regard, such as COP28.
He added: "Therefore, with the widening repercussions on the balance of the environment and nature, due to the international failure to combat the worsening phenomenon of climate change, the world is required to search for urgent solutions to curb climate and environmental pollution, which the upcoming COP28 summit to be held in the UAE must be an opportunity to adopt and adhere to.