ALICANTE UNIVERSITY experts warned that tiger mosquitoes are spreading throughout the province.
Pharmacists agree. “People come here with such huge bites that I send them to the health centre,” said one in Muchamiel.
Primary care doctors said they were seeing 20 per cent more patients with bites from this non-native insect.
The tiger-striped mosquitoes do not remain in wetlands but are closely associated with humans and to date Alicante health centres and hospitals have dealt with 5,000 cases of insect bites, a fifth of them at Alicante General Hospital.
A tiger mosquito’s bite is worse than that of the native Spanish species although the outcome is seldom serious or life-threatening. Occasionally they pass on malaria or chikungunya, as in the recent case of a Gandia resident who contracted the tropical disease without leaving Spain.
Pilar Mateo, an expert in diseases transmitted by insects, said that tiger mosquitoes spread rapidly and steps should be taken to control them in the winter as well as the spring and summer. “They should be eliminated during their entire life cycle, not only as adults,” she recommended.