Japanese mosquito, Europe takes caution: what risks to bring

Japanese mosquito, Europe takes caution: what risks to bring
Japanese mosquito, Europe takes caution: what risks to bring

From Dengue to Chikungunya: the risk posed by the Japanese mosquito can be multifaceted. How to limit proliferation.

Foto di Gabriela Piwowarska da Pixabay

Summer is now close to the end of the line but, apparently, we should have to deal with the mosquitoes for a while longer. With one in particular, coming from a distant country but capable, it seems, of having very close consequences. The mosquito comes from Japan which is making our country apprehensive, already reported in the northern area of ​​the Peninsula and, according to experts, potentially very dangerous for our health. The risk would be mostly linked to the possibility of spreading a series of viruses.

From Dengue fever to Chikungunya, the Japanese mosquito is identified with the scientific name of Aedes japonicus, to indicate its origin. Commonly to the other species of this insect, it proliferates in humid environments and, in many cases, also in others where temperatures reach high rigidity peaks. According to what was reported to Repubblica by the head of the parasitology laboratory of the Zooprophylactic Institute of Padua, Fabrizio Montarsi, despite living in wooded areas, the Japanese mosquito has learned to reproduce in the city. Which makes it even more dangerous.

Japanese mosquito in Italy, what risks it can bring: expert opinion

As for the appearance, the physiognomy is quite similar to the tiger mosquito. A factor that increases its danger is its rather easy adaptation to the climates of central and southern Europe. Which manages to make it survive even the winter weather, tend to be less rigid. According to veterinarians, it is possible that its proliferation could also affect the western part of Europe. Experts believe that the risk is mainly linked to Japanese encephalitis, a migraine that causes intense and throbbing headaches. However, the possibility of the mosquito turning into a viral vector for different types of infections is not ruled out.

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In Europe, however, no cases of Japanese headache have been reported to date. Nor, apparently, of other potentially mosquito-related diseases. As Montarsi explains, in order for the virus to be transmitted, “there must be the insect, the virus and the exact same environment in which this transmission is possible“. That is typical of Southeast Asia. Clearly, buffer precautions can be taken, such as preventing water stagnation and not leaving uncovered containers that can fill up, perhaps with rain. All pending the support of more precise investigations. Prevention can be decisive.

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