Asian tiger mos­quito eggs de­stroyed

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News -

A nest of po­ten­tially deadly mos­qui­toes has been found out­side Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional Truck­stop.

Spe­cial­ists from Pub­lic Health Eng­land and Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil erad­i­cated eggs and lar­vae of the aedes al­bopic­tus (Asian tiger) mos­quito, which is known to carry the po­ten­tially fa­tal dis­eases of dengue and chikun­gunya.

This is the sec­ond time the species has been found in the UK. How­ever, a spokesman from Pub­lic Health Eng­land has con­firmed that the eggs at the Water­brook Av­enue site posed “no im­me­di­ate risk to pub­lic health”.

An­drew Scott-Clark, di­rec­tor for pub­lic health in Kent, said: “This has been a great ex­am­ple of close work­ing be­tween lo­cal gov­ern­ment and Pub­lic Health Eng­land to safe­guard peo­ple in Kent.

“The sur­veil­lance sys­tem has been highly ef­fec­tive in de­tect­ing this in­va­sive species and en­abled a swift re­sponse from Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil to treat the site and en­sure this species does not be­come es­tab­lished.

“Hav­ing, been con­sulted through­out I can as­sure peo­ple in Kent that this poses no cur­rent risk to the pub­lic’s health.”

PHE said that the eggs that were re­moved were not an im­me­di­ate risk to peo­ple as the mos­qui­toes would only pick up dis­eases from the lo­cal pop­ula- tion. For a bite from the mos­quito to be harm­ful or fa­tal, it would need to bite an in­fected per­son to then pass on the dis­ease and in­ci­dences of this in Europe are not com­mon.

The eggs and lar­vae were dis­cov­ered through PHE’s mos­quito sur­veil­lance pro­gramme, which mon­i­tors 30 UK ports and air­ports.

The site out­side Ash­ford Truck­stop was closely mon­i­tored for three days af­ter the eggs were erad­i­cated last week, with all the other traps be­ing checked.

They all came back as neg­a­tive, with no ev­i­dence that the mos­quito has be­come es­tab­lished, but ex­tra pre­cau­tions have been added to the Ash­ford site with the ad­di­tion of en­hanced sur­veil­lance and more traps.

Dar­ren Smith, gen­eral man­ager of Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional Truck­stop, said: “Pub­lic Health Eng­land rou­tinely tests for signs of Asian tiger mos­qui­toes, a species com­mon to Europe, wher­ever trucks that have trav­elled from the Con­ti­nent con­gre­gate.

“Dur­ing an ex­am­i­na­tion eggs were found and a de­ci­sion was taken to treat the area.

“We have worked closely with Pub­lic Health Eng­land and Ash­ford coun­cil over the last few days.

“The truck­stop has re­mained open at all times and the ex­perts as­sure us there is no risk to pub­lic health.”

An Asian tiger mos­quito

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