Warmer Climate Could Bring West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever to the UK
Scientists from Public Health England (PHE), have warned that climate change could result in Dengue fever and West Nile virus coming to the UK.
A report published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal, says warmer weather and higher rainfall could provide ideal conditions for mosquitoes that carry the diseases to multiply.
PHE are monitoring places where mosquitoes lay eggs and have already identified used tyres as a major area of concern as report co-author Dr Joylon Medlock, explained “Given the on-going spread of invasive mosquitoes across Europe, with accompanying outbreaks of Dengue and Chikungunya virus, Public Health England has been conducting surveillance at seaports, airports, and some motorway service stations,” he said. “Although no non-native invasive mosquitoes have been detected in the UK so far, a better system to monitor imported used tyres, in which disease-carrying mosquitoes lay their eggs, needs planning.”
Thirty four different species of mosquito have been identified in the UK where the climate is already said to be suitable for those carrying West Nile virus. There have been no human cases of the disease so far but a species of the Culex mosquito which is the main carrier in Europe has been discovered in Kent.
Researchers though, feel the Asian Tiger mosquito (aedes albopictus) which spreads Dengue fever and Chikungunya may pose a greater threat.