Asian tiger mosquitoes, which can carry harmful diseases, have reached Geneva, authorities say.This content was published on September 27, 2019 - 15:10
Scientists’ confirmation of its presence took place “this month of September,” a statement from the canton of Geneva said on Friday.
It comes after recent sightings of the insect in Schaffhausen and Zurich.
“The tiger mosquito is a particularly undesirable invasive species because it also bites during the day and causes a stronger reaction. It is also a potential vector of tropical diseases,” the statement continued.
However, it pointed out that because these diseases – such as Zika, dengue fever or Chikungunya – were not habitual to the Geneva region, being bitten by a tiger mosquito “carries no special health risk”.
The authorities have activated a tiger mosquito plan. This involves increasing checks on potential breeding sites, as the mosquito likes inhabited spaces, and destroying any colonies. They are also calling on the public to look out for the insect and photograph or send in any suspected specimens.
The tiger mosquito was first seen in Italian-speaking Ticino in the south of Switzerland in 2003 and has also been noted in Basel and Graubünden.
Originally from southeast Asia, it has been spreading across Europe, including in France, which borders Geneva. The Geneva authorities said that they had expected the mosquito to “appear sooner or later” in the canton. Climate change and international travel have contributed to the spread of the insect, they said.
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