Salud will take full control of the tiger mosquito to curb tropical viruses such as dengue and Zika

Salud will take full control of the tiger mosquito to curb tropical viruses such as dengue and Zika

Salud will take full control of the tiger mosquito to curb tropical viruses such as dengue and ZikaDJ

The Ministry of Health will focus specifically this year on combating tiger mosquitoes, which transmit tropical diseases such as Dengue feverthe Chikungunya Or the Zika. You will also monitor the common mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus. Travel and globalization make it easier for one person to catch a disease and infect another through a mosquito bite. Diseases like these and others, transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks, are closely linked to climate.

On Wednesday, the administration presented the “Operational Plan for the Prevention of Heat Effects on Health (POCS).”The first phase of which began on June 1st (last year 15 days earlier, in mid-May) and will be in effect until September 30th. The second phase of this plan is activated when the heat is “extreme” or when it is “very intense.” In the latter case, emergency resources are activated and coordinated. This plan includes an investment of eight million euros. In 2023, there were three deaths linked to high temperatures in Catalonia.

The purpose of this plan It is mainly to protect those most at risk. This group, according to Health, is people over 75 who have some type of frailty (such as dependency) or who have chronic conditions (such as respiratory or cardiovascular), who are at “very high” and “high” risk. high” respectively. According to health. People over 75 with no risk factors, those under 75 with a chronic disease, or infants are at low risk.

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More heat due to climate change

As Public Health Minister Carmen Cabezas explained on Wednesday, The summer of 2023 saw temperatures rise during July, which intensified further in the last week of August, which was a product of the effects of climate change. But this increase was less than that which occurred in the summer of 2022.

Thus, health, in cooperation with various state entities and departments, implemented measures aimed at disseminating the plan and warnings. The Ministry also proposed a classification of risks to which the population is exposed (described above) using different health and social variables. “In general, this was observed [el 2023] A significant decrease in deaths attributed to extreme temperatures compared to the previous year“, says the oath document.

According to Dr. Cabezas, health Always activate thermal alerts by following the information provided by Meteocat, With whom he works in close cooperation. He pointed out that this heat wave plan dates back to 2004, and was activated after the “great heat wave of 2003.” Its objectives are threefold: to predict potential weather conditions involving heat hazards, to reduce the negative impacts of extreme heat, and to coordinate measures and resources to deal with extreme or very extreme heat.

Health recommendations

health It recommends residents drink water frequently even if they are not thirstyAvoid going out during the hottest hours (it’s no longer 2 to 4 p.m., but 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Cabezas said), stay in air-conditioned spaces, be careful with children and the elderly, wear light clothing and a hat or cap and wear Sun cream.

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Salot also warns of an increase in the number of travelers between Catalonia and areas endemic to diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika or West Nile virus. There, the section warns, A global “mutation” in arboviruses, which are viral diseases transmitted through the bite of a mosquito.

However, as Barcelona’s Public Health Agency (ASPB) pointed out weeks ago, last year’s drought halved tiger mosquito activity in Barcelona. Higher temperatures, a result of the climate crisis, are leading to changes in mosquito seasonality. The season progresses and sometimes extends. But, on the other hand, their activity decreases, because they need water to survive.


2023 was the wettest year on record and the second warmest. “This has led to a decrease in mosquito numbers on public roads, where there is less water,” explained Thomas Montalvo, head of the agency’s urban pest control and monitoring program. “On private property, where there are gardens and swimming pools, mosquitoes are more prevalent.” ASPB.

However, cMonitoring the activity of these insects is key, especially at a time like summerWhen travel is frequent and diseases can be imported from other countries. An example is dengue fever, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) or the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). The most common symptoms of dengue are fever accompanied by nausea, vomiting, cramps, or pain. Dengue fever used to be an exotic tropical infection, but now there are cases of local dengue fever, which is a direct result of climate change, doctors explain.

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