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Health – Minister raises awareness of the dangers of tiger mosquitoes – Politics

Health – Minister raises awareness of the dangers of tiger mosquitoes – Politics

Saarbrücken (dpa) – In the fight against the Asian tiger mosquito, Saarland Health Minister Magnus Jung is also focusing on prevention. “We want to try to slow the spread and citizens can contribute to that,” he said on Tuesday in Saarbrücken. Like other mosquitoes, tiger mosquitoes like to breed in stagnant water. It is therefore generally recommended to avoid this in gardens and, among other things, cover rain barrels that can serve as fertile ground.

There is also a research project at Saarland University. The process of monitoring is used to monitor how a population evolves. “I don't think you can stop it or bring it back. The lower the spread, the better for health,” Young said.

Tiger mosquitoes are a “relatively new issue” in the state of Saarland, but they may also pose “some problems” in the future. Their incidence is growing “almost exponentially.” It was first discovered in the Saarland in August 2023. One of the risks it poses is that it can transmit tropical diseases – such as dengue fever.

More cases of dengue fever

There have already been ten cases of dengue fever in Saarland this year. This is eight more cases than in the same period last year. However, these were exclusively people who returned from the tropics. In Germany, the number of dengue fever cases has increased by more than 300 percent this year, now reaching more than 1,000 cases. These are also returned travelers who are infected. According to the ministry, the possibility of transmission of infection in Germany is increasing.

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The tiger mosquito comes from Southeast Asia. In fact, their bite is fairly harmless and causes itching and swelling. However, at very high temperatures, it can transmit pathogens such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses.

Heat business plan

The state government is also focusing on preventive measures when it comes to heat. “We have to prepare for heat waves to become more frequent and more severe,” Jung said of the heat action plan approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday. This should also be a guide for municipalities. She added that a coordination point will be established at the Ministry of Health for implementation. The elderly and children in particular need special protection from heat. But special measures may also be necessary in certain workplaces, such as construction.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:240618-99-441804/2