Mosquito which can spread viruses found in Normandy

Tiger mosquito SHUTTERSTOCK (37725988)

A MOSQUITO which can transmit viruses including Zika and dengue fever has become established in Normandy, according to French media reports.

The tiger mosquito – native to south-east Asia – arrived in France in 2004 and has spread rapidly north. It is present in many other European countries.

Normandy was the last region of France to have a confirmed population of the insects.

Although there are no known cases of transmission of a disease from tiger mosquito to humans in the region, residents are being urged to be vigilant and remove any areas of stagnant water around their properties.

Tiger mosquitoes are smaller than common mosquitoes, at about 5mm in length and are black and white.

In another contrast with the common mosquito, which usually bite at night and make a noise when flying, the tiger mosquito bites during the day and is silent.

It travels less than 150 metres throughout its adult life and reproduces in tiny quantities of water.

The mosquito, which was detected in Normandy’s Seine-Maritime department, to the north-west of Paris, is known to transmit a number of viruses.

The Zika virus, which is extremely rare in Europe, is usually mild and clears up within a week, with symptoms including a fever, rash and muscle aches. However, it may be harmful in pregnancy as it can lead to complications and birth defects in the baby.

Dengue fever is also usually mild. Its symptoms include high temperature, severe headache, swollen glands and joint and muscle pain.

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