The parasite situation in Hungary has deteriorated in many respects in recent years. You need to pay special attention to these specific species.
The Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic tick has appeared in Hungary, according to Index. It is not the only species native far from our region that can already be observed in Europe.
Hip mosquitoes can spread different infections depending on whether the pathogen is compatible with the given species and can reproduce within the cells of the mosquito, explained Dr Zoltán Soltész, a researcher at the Ecological Research Centre, to Index.
A mosquito not only sucks the blood but also leaves saliva behind inside our bloodstream, so it can easily infect humans if pathogens are present in their salivary glands.
In addition to the fifty native species, three non-native hip mosquito species live in Hungary. The three invasive species are the Asian tiger mosquito, the Asian bush mosquito, and the Korean mosquito. Of these, the tiger mosquito is the one that is compatible with most pathogens.
Of the tiger mosquitoes, however, so far, there is not such a large population in Hungary. The Ecological Research Centre uses the Mosquito Monitor to reach out to the population for help in monitoring the spread of invasive species.
As a result of climate change, the living conditions of these species are getting better in Hungary, and they can spread between the continents with the help of truck and boat traffic.
The three invasive species can hatch in a body of water about half a deciliter that does not come into contact with the soil directly. Clogged gutters and the area around the outdoor bins are ideal breeding places. They can get from the egg to the flying insect form in as little as 1 week in ideal conditions.
The Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever tick has also appeared in Hungary. They are the main hosts of this viral disease, Gábor Földvári, a senior researcher at the Institute of Evolutionary Sciences of the Ecological Research Centre, told Index.
They are native to Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Europe, but a few per cent of migratory birds carry these specific ticks. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever poses a serious health risk, with an exceptionally high mortality rate of about 30 per cent.
The ticks have been observed in Hungary as well. Antibodies have already been found by serological testing in wild rodents and hares but have also been reported in asymptomatic blood donors.
In addition to direct transfer, the disease also spreads with the processing and consumption of infected animals through contact with blood.
According to Gábor Földvári, due to climate change, the boundaries of habitats are also changing, and the southern species are constantly “migrating” further north.
The Ecological Research Centre is asking the public to pay attention more carefully during tick season to avoid serious illnesses.