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In their Research Article -- The global distribution of the arbovirus vectors Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus-- Kraemer et al. produce the first global distribution maps of two species of dengue and chikungunya-carrying mosquitoes. They go on to warn that these mosquitoes are spreading to new areas where they could cause disease.
The population of the tiger mosquito, which is known to carry dengue and chikungunya, has rapidly expanded in parts of the US, Southern Europe and China over the past 10-15 years. A new study by scientists at Oxford University reports the growth and identifies areas not yet populated by the insects that are suitable for their survival, for example in Europe. The findings are published in the journal eLife.
“Given the lack of a vaccine or any antiviral treatment for either virus and the debilitating pain they both cause, knowing where the mosquitoes are spreading to and where they might turn up next is crucial for helping to protect communities,” says first author Moritz Kraemer.
Examples of media coverage featuring the study can be found below;
- The new regions at risk from mosquitoes carrying diseases (New Scientist)
- Dengue fever mosquito alert for southern Europe (The Times)
- Peligro de dengue en España (El Mundo)
- Virus-Carrying Mosquitoes Spreading to New Regions (US News and World Report)
- Scientists look to mosquito data to map spread of disease (SciDevNet)