Ticino, Switzerland (Information from Le Temps) – The Asian tiger mosquito, easily identified by the white stripes on its back legs and overall small size, has made it over the Alps from Italy and Ticino, which is not good news for human beings in the Lake Geneva region. The insect already lives in France, which gives its armies two fronts on which to advance on Lake Geneva. The news was made official Monday by the Swiss government.
It is alone among mosquitoes in not making noise and, unusually, it carries and transmits not just one preferred disease but several. Le Temps carries a lengthy interview with a specialist in Ticino, biologist Eleonora Flacio, where the mosquito has been “contained” for some time. The mosquito is known in Africa and Asia for transmitting serious diseases, but as Flacio points out, it must first be a carrier and the chances of it arriving with dengue fever, for example, are remote. Public health authorities fear its arrival because of its ability to pick up an share so many viral diseases. And while it cannot fly far, it is an expert at clinging to people’s clothes.