The island of Crete is alarmed as the West Nile virus, which is transmitted through mosquitos, and in particular the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), is expected to burst during the coming period.
In light of those fears, the four district units of the island are preparing the implementation of a mosquito-fighting program. Danger zones of Rethymno will be sprayed in four cycles so that the virus be fully confronted by October.
During the last three years, endemic malaria cases were reported. In 2010, 34 people died of the West Nile virus among 260 cases. In summer 2011, the virus spread in five more districts of the country causing 101 people to be infected, and 8 of the cases ended with the patient’s death.
The presence of significant tiger mosquito populations has shown that the species is settling and spreading, while it can transmit more than 24 diseases to people. It’s become clear that the spreading of tiger mosquitos resulting in West Nile virus and malaria cases poses a major threat to public health, and measures against an epidemic must be taken.
It appears that climate changes in the Balkans and Northwest Europe have formed a more hospitable environment for the Asian tiger mosquito, a disease carrier that has been rapidly spreading in many areas of Greece during the last years. The warning comes from the Liverpool University, UK, where researches have concluded that milder winters and warmer summers enable the spreading of the mosquitos.