Climate change link to influx of disease-carrying mosquitoes to UK

Increasing temperatures under climate change could result in disease-carrying mosquitoes living in Britain, a new report warns.

The Asian tiger mosquito

The Asian tiger mosquito Image by microbiologybytes / CC BY 2.0

Diseases such as malaria and West Nile virus which is carried by ticks and mosquitoes have already become more commonplace in Greece and other parts of eastern Europe. TheJournal.ie reports that Public Health England has warned that these diseases will become more widespread in Britain over the coming decades if temperatures continue to rise.

Latest research in the Lancet Journal showed how temperature rises could usher in the insects to this part of the world. Dengue fever transmission was traditionally confined to tropical and subtropical regions but if the temperature was to jump by 2°C, parts of both Wales and England would become suitable for the the Asian tiger mosquito.

Already, the UK climate has become suitable for the transmission of West Nile virus but the paucity of mosquitoes numbers and the small number of bites has meant there have been no human cases so far.

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