Climate change has led to a surge in disease-bearing exotic mosquitoes and Hungarian scientists are warning the population about the potential dangers and asking for their help in finding out more about the insects.
In an interview with national television station M1, László Garamszegi, director of the Ecological Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences said warmer summers and springs have led to an increase in the number of mosquitoes in Hungary and, in addition to the 50 indigenous species, Hungarian entomologists have identified at least three non-native species in the country.
Rmx.news notes that the most dangerous among these is the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes Alopticus), with characteristic white stripes across its legs and body. The Asian tiger mosquito is an important vector for the transmission of many viral pathogens, including the yellow fever virus, dengue fever, and Chikungunya fever. It is also capable of hosting the Zika virus and is considered a potential vector for Zika transmission among humans.
Garamszegi also asked people to contact the institute when they see these mosquitoes, as Hungarian entomologists have little information regarding their geographic spread and habits in the country.
Photo credit: James Gathany, CDC