Mosquito-borne disease risk looms for UK – study

Mosquito-borne disease risk looms for UK - study

Prof Nigel Arnell, professor of climate change at the University of Reading, says: “Whilst we clearly hope temperatures won’t get that far, it is prudent to prepare for the worst case when planning health resources, if the consequences of us underestimating the risk are so significant.”

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A new study has revealed that the UK is at risk of suffering an increasing number of mosquito-borne diseases and for longer periods.

According to scientists, there is a heightened risk from Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika virus due to climate change and international travel. The international research study conducted by a team of experts from the universities of Liverpool, Leeds and London highlights the growing risk of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases in the UK.

The study reveals that with increasing temperatures and travel abroad, native mosquitoes have the potential to infect people in the UK with Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika viruses, particularly in areas where those mosquitoes breed in artificial containers near populated areas. The risk is especially pronounced in the coastal regions of the UK such as the south-east, the South Coast, and the North West.

The researchers have warned that mosquito-borne diseases pose a serious threat and could have a huge impact on public health and the economy if control measures are not implemented.

The study recommends increased surveillance of diseases and vector control measures to reduce the risk of transmission. It also suggests the need for increased public awareness and education so that people can protect themselves by taking the necessary measures to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease.

The research team has also highlighted the need for government and health organisations to take preventative measures, such as raising awareness, the implementation of vector control methods, and long-term monitoring of mosquito populations.

The risks posed by mosquito-borne diseases are real, and as such the British public needs to be aware of the potential risks in order to avoid contracting these illnesses. With government and public health measures in place to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases in the UK, people should be able to stay safe and healthy.

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