Expats in Costa Blanca warned over deadly virus carried by tiger mosquitoes

Published:  23 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain
Expats in Spain’s Costa Blanca region are being warned over the danger of tiger mosquito bites.

Expat residents as well as locals across the popular region are being advised to clear all standing water away from their properties due the risk of deadly diseases caught via tiger mosquito bites. The warning comes after experts detected an alarming rise in the numbers of the aggressive insects in the region. Authorities in Valencia are fining business owners and residents who don’t comply with their instructions, with those allowing stagnant water pools around their homes or businesses facing fines of up to €3,000. The deadly insects’ larvae breed in standing water, with the mature mosquitoes able to bite through clothing and transmit dengue fever, yellow fever and the deadly Zika virus.

The virus can present mild but uncomfortable symptoms but can also cause a high fever, conjunctivitis and severe headaches and is especially dangerous for pregnant women as it can cause congenital abnormalities in the foetus. According to Valencia’s Councillor for Health Emiliano Garcia, the anti-mosquito programme is intended to inform and warn local residents of the danger, thus encouraging them to take action, as it’s not known how many of the pests actually contain the virus.

Also, this specific strain of mosquito has the ability to adapt to varied environments and has rarely been seen in Spain until recently. Even small amounts of standing water in plant pots or puddles after rain can provide the right environment for reproduction. According to the authority, fines levied will start at €25 and rise commensurate with the levels of negligence and potential danger. Inspections are now taking place, and dozens of victims have already been admitted to local hospitals after being bitten by the insects.
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