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Dengue-Carrying Mosquitoes Found In Holland


The discovery of a swarm of aggressive tiger mosquitoes, a type known to carry dengue fever, in the Netherlands has highlighted the lack of legislation for monitoring disease-carrying insects in the EU, reports Jennifer Rohn in Chemistry & Industry magazine.

A Dutch inspector was attacked and bitten by the swarm in a greenhouse during a routine inspection of imported bamboo. The bamboo and the insects originated in southeast China where the disease is rife. But it is not yet know whether the mosquitoes were carrying dengue, a potentially fatal disease.

The Dutch sighting is the furthest north in Europe that Asian tiger mosquitoes have been found, raising the possibility that imported tropical plants may pose a disease risk to Northern European countries with normally cool climates, especially if global temperatures continue to rise.

There is no legislation requiring that tiger mosquitoes be monitored in Dutch greenhouses and no EU legislation that I know of, Olaf Stenvers of the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority told C&I. Tougher laws are needed, he said.

The UK has no legislation requiring that tiger mosquitoes be monitored, and has only recently introduced a new surveillance effort for West Nile fever.

Dengue fever affects tens of millions of people every year.

Jacqueline Ali | alfa
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