SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 13 Apr. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The General Directorate of Public Health of the Canary Islands Health Service continues with the Entomological Surveillance protocol of the Canary Islands after the timely detection of two ‘Aedes Aegypti’ mosquito larvae in La Palma.
Thus, 112 traps have been installed at different strategic points on La Palma with the aim of detecting and eradicating possible specimens of this insect. If there were any, the island’s toilets have been trained to detect possible reactions to bites. and the email account email@example.com has been enabled so that any citizen can notify the suspected presence of mosquitoes or bites.
The ‘Aedes Aegypti’ is a vector for the transmission of viral diseases in other geographical areas where these pathologies are endemic, which does not happen in the Canary Islands.
Although the sequencing of the larvae confirmed the absence of a virus that carries communicable diseases, the detection and surveillance protocol is maintained, the Ministry of Health details in a note.
The objective of the Entomological Surveillance System of the Canary Islands, which is developed in collaboration with the Institute of Tropical Diseases, is to detect adult specimens, eggs or larvae of invasive mosquitoes early.
For this purpose, two types of traps have been installed on the island: ovitraps and BG Sentinel traps, whose functions are to catch the eggs, larvae and pupae that it may contain, as well as adult mosquitoes.
Adult mosquito traps contain an attractant that is released into the environment and traps adult mosquitoes that are retained inside a mesh bag containing equipment for laboratory study.
The ‘Aedes Aegypti’ is characterized by having a short and low flight, so its bite occurs mainly in the lower limbs.
Unlike the common mosquito, this species bites during the day, more specifically at dawn and dusk and depending on the person’s posture, bites can occur on the face, arms and legs.
This insect moves with human beings and their belongings and goods through cars, luggage and plants and it is common for it to live near humans: inside the house, gardens or garages, since this ensures food (nectars from plants and organic matter).
The females, in addition, desperately need blood to lay their eggs, so they seek to inhabit spaces where there are people.
The mosquito’s development cycle from egg to adult is between seven and 10 days, and an adult can live between 30 and 40 days.
The female mosquitoes are the ones that bite, since they need to feed on blood to reproduce and they also need water (breeding points) to complete their development.
They lay their eggs on the walls of the containers with water, in the water they lay their eggs, from which the larvae will emerge that will later transform into pupae (both aquatic) and that will finally become mosquitoes. Therefore, it is essential to eliminate their breeding points.
Currently the surveillance tasks on the island of La Palma are aimed at identifying and locating the mosquito, and for this two lines of work are followed: the installation of traps for mosquito eggs, larvae and adults and the identification of mosquito bites , to help locate the area in which it has been able to settle.
Health states that citizen collaboration is very important in this task of monitoring invasive species in the Canary Islands.
To do this, citizens are asked to report the presence of mosquitoes and their bites to the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org
They can also send photos of bites that they consider suspicious due to the strong inflammatory reaction accompanied by great itching, indicating the geographical place where it has been located and a telephone number.
In all health centers on the island and in pharmacies, they have sting surveys for notification to the General Directorate of Public Health.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SPECIES
The ‘Aedes’ mosquitoes are black with stripes and smaller than the usual ones in the islands, they appear more in urban environments and have adapted to reproduce in small water points generated by man.
They usually bite during the day and not at night and their bite generates a strong inflammatory reaction that is accompanied by a great stinging, they move nimbly close to the ground and no buzzing is heard.