Asian bug 'invader' could bring tropical diseases to Britain, say scientists
The Asian tiger mosquito, which can transmit potentially dangerous tropical diseases such as dengue fever and Chikungunya fever, could soon become established in parts of England's south.
Scientists mapping changes to Europe's climate over the past 50 years, say it has already invaded large parts of Italy, Spain, southern France and the Balkans, as well as establishing itself as far north as The Netherlands - possibly arriving in shopping containers carrying tyres and ornamental house plants like lucky bamboo.
The distinctive banded Aedes albopictus has already caused several isolated outbreaks of dengue and Chikungunya in Europe in recent years.
Experts warn it could become established in parts of northern Europe - including southern England - surviving year-round through increasingly milder winters.
Scientists at Liverpool University and the UK's Health Protection Agency have completed computer simulations of how the climate in Europe has changed over the past half-century, and how it is likely to change in the coming decades.
Their studies suggest that conditions across wider areas of northern Europe will become more favourable for the Tiger mozzie.
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