Killer mosquito invasion reaches the UK from Europe

The deadly insects carry dengue fever and the West Nile virus

Killer mosquito invasion reaches the UK from Europe

A swarm of deadly mosquitos is set to invade the UK as they travel over from Europe, experts have warned.

The insects, which have already arrived in Kent, can spread potentially deadly diseases and have caused problems across Europe.

The Asian tiger mosquito can spread dengue fever and chikungunya - a virus causing a fever of up to 40 degrees followed by joint pain that can last for years.

The latest invasive mosquito to reach Britain is the culex modestus, which can spread the West Nile virus, a disease that causes serious flu-like symptoms that last several days, reports the Mirror.

The virus can also cause swelling of the brain and spinal cord in some very serious cases.

Experts from Public Health England have been monitoring several locations in Kent and have ramped up efforts to detect mosquitoes capable of carrying potentially lethal diseases as they enter the country to reduce the risk of them spreading further.

If they spot them, Public Health England will work with local authorities to see if pest control measures are necessary.

Officials have also built detection stations at ferry ports.

On BBC Radio 4, Dr Jolyon Medlock, programme leader with Public Health England's Medical Entomology team, said there were a number of potential entry routes into Britain for mosquitos.

He said: "One of the key strategies in Europe has been community participation in looking at their own houses and minimising potential aquatic habitats for mosquitoes - covering water butts and unblocking drains, things like that."

The Asian tiger mosquitos get to Europe from south east Asia by laying eggs, which can survive dormant for up to 18 months, in products which are then exported.

They can also hitch rides on vehicles stopping in Europe on the way to Britain.

Academics from the University of Liverpool warned earlier this year that disease-carrying mosquitoes could become commonplace in Britain within 15 years as the nation's climate changes, reports the Telegraph.

World's deadliest insects

World's deadliest insects

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