These are the hardest hit areas where fear of tropical diseases is growing.

mosquito bites
Mosquito bites in Spain can cause diseases such as dengue, Japanese encephalitis or West Nile fever.
Belen Valdejita

Belen Valdejita 6 min

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the mosquito It is responsible for the largest number of deaths each year from diseases transmitted through bites.. The figures add up to about 725,000 lives lost annually due to chikungunya, dengue, lymphatic filariasis, malaria or West Nile fever.

Among the mosquito species most common in Spain are tiger mosquito. Although this invasive species was not originally native to the Iberian Peninsula, it has already established itself in Spain and has been officially classified as such by the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Issues (MITECO).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mosquitoes cause the largest number of deaths each year from diseases transmitted by bite.

To inform and prevent, mosquito alert platformwith government support, has developed a detailed map showing the areas of Spain with the highest rates of mosquito bites.

Areas of Spain most affected by mosquitoes

As we have already said about mosquitoes that affect the geography of Spain, tiger mosquito is the most numerous. Despite its foreign origin, the tiger mosquito has managed to establish itself in various regions of Spain, having been declared an invader.

According to a report by the Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), the bite of this insect, known for its strong anthropophilia and aggressive behavior, not only causes discomfort. Like an invasive insect too represents an important vector for epidemics of viruses such as chikungunya, dengue or Zika.. Their spread and establishment increase the risk of local transmission of these diseases from endemic areas.

Mosquito Bite Map
The map, produced by the Mosquito Alert platform, shows the level of mosquito bites in the most affected areas of Spain.

In turn, the map prepared by Mosquito Alert emphasizes that The Mediterranean coast, especially Catalonia and the Valencian Community, has the highest reported incidence of tiger mosquito bites in Spain.. Serious cases have also been reported in the regions of Murcia, Cadiz and Malaga, as well as in the interior of the country – Madrid, Aragon, Navarre and the Basque Country. Among the worst hit cities are Barcelona, ​​Valencia and Alicante.

Why are the number of mosquitoes increasing in cities?

According to a recent study carried out by the Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC), the University of Granada (UGR), the Network Biomedical Research Center of Epidemiology and Public Health and the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB), both decorative fountains and sewer systems they play fatherHe a decisive factor in the presence of mosquitoes in urban environments.

If we want to avoid the presence of mosquitoes, we need to eliminate only what allows their larvae to reproduce: water. For example, after rain, puddles often remain in buckets, pots or bowls on terraces or in gardens where mosquitoes breed.

The study made more than 230,000 visits to 31,000 scuppers (drainage devices that direct rainwater into the sewer system). It also tested over 1,800 decorative fountains in Barcelona and found thatMosquitoes prefer sand scuppers.which hold more water.

The most dangerous mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit

Below we list samples that pose a greater risk:

  • Aedes aegypti mosquito: Spreads dengue fever, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika virus. Present in regions such as Catalonia, Valencian Community and Andalusia.
  • Aedes japonicus mosquito: Transmits dengue and Japanese encephalitis. It is found in areas of northern Spain such as Galicia and Asturias.
  • Culex pipiens mosquito: May spread West Nile fever and filariasis. This is common throughout Spain.
  • Anopheles mosquito: It is a carrier of malaria. Despite being native, its presence in Spain has been significantly reduced.
  • Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus): This mosquito can spread dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. It is present primarily in areas of northern Spain such as Catalonia and Navarre.

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