Climate Change Drives Dengue-Carrying ‘Tiger Mosquitoes’ North 

Climate Change Drives Dengue-Carrying 'Tiger Mosquitoes' North. Credit | Shutterstock
Climate Change Drives Dengue-Carrying 'Tiger Mosquitoes' North. Credit | Shutterstock

United States: As dengue fever emerged as one of the major diseases that is causing a great deal of concern throughout the continent of Europe, researchers are blaming an invasive species of the mosquito. 

Popularly referred to as ‘tiger mosquitoes,’ the insects belonging to a species known as Aedes albopictus have extended the menace to 13 of the EU states, as noted by an alert on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). 

More about the news 

Elitza Theel, PhD, director, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Minnesota said that tiger mosquitoes are indeed a “known vector” for the dengue virus, and these mosquitoes are capable of transmitting the disease to individuals who seem to have had no past encounter with the virus. 

Climate Change Drives Dengue-Carrying 'Tiger Mosquitoes' North. Credit | Getty Images
Climate Change Drives Dengue-Carrying ‘Tiger Mosquitoes’ North. Credit | Getty Images

She stated, “This mosquito species is concerning for a number of reasons, including that it is considered the most invasive species in the world,” as Fox News reported. 

“Although typically considered a tropical mosquito, it is able to survive in cooler climates,” she added. 

The experts noted that the mosquito species is spreading further north on the global scale proportionally to the rising temperatures. 

Theel added, “Tiger mosquitoes are also rather aggressive, biting both humans and animals at any time of the day, rather than just at dawn or dusk, which is typical of other mosquito species,” as Fox News reported. 

As per the health officials’ warning, change in climate has been a leading factor contributing to the spread of such vectors. 

Climate Change Drives Dengue-Carrying 'Tiger Mosquitoes' North. Credit | iStock
Climate Change Drives Dengue-Carrying ‘Tiger Mosquitoes’ North. Credit | iStock

What more have the experts stated? 

According to Andrea Ammon, ECDC director, “Europe is already seeing how climate change is creating more favorable conditions for invasive mosquitoes to spread into previously unaffected areas and infect more people with diseases such as dengue.” 

She added, “Increased international travel from dengue-endemic countries will also increase the risk of imported cases, and inevitably also the risk of local outbreak.” 

“Personal protective measures combined with vector control measures, early detection of cases, timely surveillance, further research, and awareness-raising activities are paramount in those areas in Europe most at risk,” she continued. 

Status of Dengue in the US 

As per the expert’s report, dengue is the most common fever spreading across the tropics and subtropics; however, given the present conditions, it is rising globally now. 

Fischer said, “Based on information from the National Invasive Species Information Center, this species of mosquito was first identified in the United States in 1985 and has established populations in several states,” as Fox News reported. 

He continued, “That said, with climate change affecting the globe and tiger mosquitoes thriving in warm temperatures and in urban cities, it is possible that they can become an increasing danger in the coming months and years.” 

According to CDC records, the number of cases recorded in 2024 was 1,984 for dengue in the US. 

Again, most of the reported cases were by people infected in other countries before they arrived in Nigeria. 

Even though this species of mosquito is present in the U.S., it is, as of now, an annoying mosquito because the diseases that this mosquito can transmit are not circulating or endemic in the United States, Theel said.