Health Ministry warns of rise in tick- and mosquito-borne diseases in Spain

The Ministry of Health presented this Thursday the third part of its “Plan for Surveillance, Prevention and Control of Vector-Borne Diseases”., focused on tick-borne diseases. The plan places particular emphasis on Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, considered “new” in Spain, and Lyme disease, which can have a “significant” complication rate in infected people.

“We are particularly concerned about Lyme disease due to its high prevalence and significant complication rates,” explained Lucia García San Miguel, regional director of the Coordination Center for Health Alerts (CCAES) and coordinator of the Plan, during the information day. Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose and can cause chronic and disabling problems such as weakness in some limbs or ataxia, according to the CCAES. However, not all cases of disability following a previous Lyme diagnosis are necessarily caused by the disease.

Although not all ticks are infected, Lyme disease is considered endemic on the Cantabrian coast and Galicia. Between 2005 and 2019, a rate of 0.3 hospitalizations per 100,000 people per year due to this pathology was recorded, equivalent to three cases per million people in Spain.

The new document presents the goals Observe the behavior of ticks carrying Lyme disease in areas not considered endemic., creation of a surveillance system. Until now, no specific surveillance of this pathology has been carried out in Spain.

Each of these two diseases is transmitted by different ticks. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is transmitted by ticks of the genus Hyalomma, and Lyme is transmitted by ticks of the genus Ixodes, which are more accessible to humans.

As for Crimean-Congo disease, although it is more serious in the short term than Lyme disease, infection is less common.demonstrating high mortality (20-40%) in hemorrhagic fever.

Tick ​​Exposure Guidelines

Lucia García San Miguel recommends taking precautions when going out of town, such as: wear long clothes and check your body when you get home. In the event of a bite, this is critical. Remove the tick using blunt-tipped tweezers by pulling perpendicularly upward.. If you don’t know how to do this, you should contact a medical center.

Mosquito-borne diseases

During the summer, the number of diseases transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes increases. The tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is not currently a disease vector in Spain, but may become infected through imported cases of dengue fever or chikungunya. Aedes aegypti, the best vector for diseases such as yellow fever, has only been reported in the Canary Islands since 2008.

It is likely that cases West Nile fever in Andalusia, especially in the Guadalquivir swamps. This disease, transmitted by the Culex mosquito, can present asymptomatically or as a flu-like illness.

Mosquito Alert, citizen science initiative

Elisa Mora de Ceca, Head of Communications at Mosquito Alert, highlighted the importance of this app, which allows the public to notify authorities of the presence of mosquitoes through photographs. Thanks to this tool, Aedes albopictus was detected in 96 municipalities last year.

Citizen science has proven effective in detecting invasive mosquitoesAccording to CCAES, it is 8 times more cost-effective than traditional surveillance.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button