Vector borne diseases including Usutu virus entering Europe due to climate change

Published by: Climate and Health Council on 6th Nov 2012 | View all blogs by Climate and Health Council
"At the end of August 2012 ... the Usutu virus was found in one of the blood samples from a donor in Hessen, Germany. The Usutu virus is relatively new to the European Union as it is mostly found in Africa. It is extremely rare that the Usutu virus has been found in a blood sample, as infection is not common in Europe. These kinds of exotic viruses are entering Europe more often given the effects of climate change, which is making it a more attractive feeding and breeding ground for these mosquitoes.


The warm summers are particularly important to mention, given that climate change has been mentioned as one of the causes for the increase in exotic mosquitoes in Europe.  Research has been done in the past to confirm that the advance of these exotic mosquitoes in Europe is linked with the increase in temperature, as well as the increase in international trade.  An example shows that stagnant water in truck tyres is an ideal environment for mosquitoes to breed and they therefore travel with the truck. Similarly, the mosquitoes travel via airplanes or trains as well."

This map gives an overview of some of the mosquitoes and vector-borne viruses in the past five years in Europe.

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