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Swiss on alert for tiger mosquito

A network of 250 traps (left) have been set across northern Swiss transportation routes to find evidence of the disease-carrying tiger mosquito (right). Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute/Sean McCann via Flickr

Swiss officials have begun laying traps along highways, airports and harbours north of the Alps to determine whether the tiger mosquito - which can bear dangerous tropical diseases - has crossed Europe's natural border between north and south.

The mosquito has been in the southern canton of Ticino since 2003, but reports of its existence north of the Alps began surfacing in parts of France and Germany more recently.

The new network of 250 traps, overseen by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, will attempt to determine whether the pest has made its way into northern Switzerland and, if so, the best way to quickly eradicate it.

Project directer Pie Müller said there was no need for panic in reaction to the mosquito’s presence, saying in an interview with Swiss radio that the threat “must be taken seriously,” but that “people shouldn’t fear massive epidemics”.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR