Cypriot authorities have been alarmed over an invasive mosquito that could potentially spread a virus, with experts saying the pesky pest most likely reached the island by plane.
The health ministry on Thursday announced that a small number of adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were among other species that have been identified near Dromolaxia, Larnaca district.
Public health service official Irodotos Irodotou said there was no immediate risk or cause for alarm but pointed out the Aedes aegypti, known also as a mosquito that can carry the yellow fever virus, could potentially transmit infectious diseases under certain conditions.
“One of the main prerequisites is for the virus to exist within the community in the first place,” Irodotou said, adding that there the virus was not present at this time.
Health services officials will go door to door between 10 and 23 of October to inform the public about the situation and 'if necessary they will use insecticides'
During a TV appearance on SigmaLive, Irodotou was asked why was the mosquito found specifically in Dromolaxia, a rural town located near Larnaca International Airport.
“The speculation is that because it was found near the airport, the mosquito likely came by plane,” the official replied.
Local media said the identification came about after a PCR test was conducted on mosquitos collected as part of a bicommunal health research program on mapping the risks for diseases transmitted by carriers.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, health services officials will go door to door between 10 and 23 of October to inform the public about the situation and “if necessary they will use insecticides.”
The health ministry said it was calling on citizens to “eliminate in their homes or business premises any points of exposed water collection which may serve as breeding grounds for the mosquito, such as water collection containers, open tanks, fountains, cans and other cans filled with rainwater, flower pots, broken bottles, abandoned car tires, and any other material/object that can hold a small amount of water.”
The discovery came weeks after reports around the globe have been pointing at detections of the Aedes aegypti.
On Thursday another mosquito on the move was announced by the World Health Organization, which called for collaboration across sectors and borders on another invasive malarial mosquito species, Anopheles stephensi, which thrived in cities and was expanding in Africa.
“It is not just An. stephensi coming to Africa, it’s also Ae. aegypti invading more areas than ever before,” WHO said.