In which European countries are there tiger mosquitoes? Dengue fever cases increase with rising temperatures

This article was originally published in English

Dengue cases nearly doubled in the EU last year as climate change creates more favorable conditions for vectors.


Climate change is causing an increase in outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases in Europe, according to the latest official data.

He European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported this week that last year there were 130 dengue cases in EUup from 71 in 2022.

There has been a recent surge in cases in Europe and the US, with invasive mosquito species present in thirteen EU countries.

The tiger mosquito carries dengue fever

Dengue – also called broken bone fever due to how severe the joint pain can be, it is a viral infection life-threatening It is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites.

In the decade from 2010 to 2021, only 71 cases were reported in the EU.

“Europe is already seeing howchanging of the climate creates more favorable conditions for invasive mosquitoes to spread into previously unaffected areas and infect more people with diseases such as dengue fever,” he says. Andrea AmmonDirector of ECDC.

Hetiger mosquito(Aedes albopictus) is a carrier of dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses. This invasive species has spread to the north, east and west of Europe. the continent that is warming the fastestand currently has self-sufficient populations in 13 countries.

Where in Europe does the tiger mosquito spread?

Named for its black and white striped body, this mosquito was previously found only in tropical zones. It is currently implemented in Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Romania.

This has also been discovered several times in ports from the United Kingdom in recent years, but does not appear to have settled on the island yet.

“Increase trips abroad from countries where dengue is endemic will also increase the risk of imported cases and inevitably the risk of local outbreaks,” says Ammon.

This is confirmed by the latest ECDC data. In 2023 more than 4,900 Europeans have become infected with dengue international travel recorded the highest number of imported cases since surveillance began in 2008, up from 1,572 cases in 2022.

Climate change and El Niño fuel dengue spread

Last year it was also recorded highest number of dengue cases in the worldwith over 6.5 million cases reported in over 80 countries, resulting in 7,300 deaths associated with the disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the epidemic is caused by several factors. First, the increased prevalence of the dengue-carrying tiger mosquito and the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) in previously plague-free countries.

The climate phenomenon El Niño combined with climate change made 2023 hottest year ever recordedand led to increased rainfall and humidity, favorable conditions for mosquitoes. forecasts for this summerthey are even worse.

WHO also notes that the disease has hit hardest countries that have faced political and financial instability, large population movements in poor conditions and weakened health systems due to the COVID pandemic or lack of government funding.

What other diseases are brought by mosquitoes to Europe?

The tiger mosquito is not the only problematic species driven by the winds of climate change.

The yellow fever mosquito – also a carrier of the dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses – arrived in Cyprus in 2022.

“Their potential to spread to other parts of Europe is of concern due to their significant ability to transmit pathogens and their preference for biting humans,” warns the ECDC.


In March of this year, a case of local West Nile virus infection was reported in the Spanish city of Seville. “Although this is an isolated incident, it shows that transmission of West Nile virus can occur early in the year, likely due to suitable weather conditions,” the center adds. There have already been more “isolated cases” before.

In the Italian region Apulia Scientists identified the Anopheles sacharovi mosquito that carries malaria earlier this year, 50 years after the country was declared free of the disease. It is believed that the cause is temperature increase and repopulation of their former habitats.

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