Mosquito that spreads deadly dengue fever and zika virus discovered on Canary Islands as thousands of Brits head for winter sun, Dec 2017
THE mosquito that spreads potentially deadly dengue and yellow fever viruses has been discovered in the Canary Islands at the start of its high tourist season.
Tourists have been warned to be on high alert after Aedes type mosquitoes, which are behind the spread of the painful diseases, were found on the holiday island of Fuerteventura.
A small pocket of the mosquitoes, which in 2005 were blamed for 30 cases of dengue fever on Cristiano Ronaldo’s native island of Madeira, were detected on a private estate called Las Granadas near to Fuenteventura Hospital in the island capital Puerto del Rosario.
Confirming the discovery, the Canary Islands regional health authority said they were already organising an initial intervention, saying: "A large number of traps (are) being set and surveys taking place in houses near to the area where the mosquito has been detected to determine the spread and the area in which the work to eradicate them needs to be undertaken.
"Work to locate and inspect possible breeding grounds is also being carried out.
"All this will give us the vital information we need to proceed to the quick and effective eradication of the mosquito."
While downplaying the presence of the mosquito leading to an outbreak of dengue, Zikaor yellow fever, they asked members of the public to flag when they spotted a "suspicious" mosquito.
The Aedes aegypti has white markings on its legs and a marking in the form of a lyre on the upper surface of its thorax.
The mosquito originated in Africa but is now found in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world.
Only the female bites for blood which she needs to mature her eggs. Dengue causes high fever, severe headaches and joint pain.