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An invasive species of mosquito from East Asia is slowly spreading throughout Italy and could serve as a vector for viruses, according to a new scientific report.

An article in the Parasites & Vectors scientific journal last week claimed to have evidence that the concerning mosquitos, known as Aedes koreicus, have been expanding toward southwest Italy since being discovered in the north in 2011.

Describing the mosquitos as a “potential vector of nematodes and viruses,” the article warned that their presence “has recently been reported in many regions of Europe,” and that in Italy, they “are now spreading towards the southwest of the country.”

Thought mosquitoes were just for summer? #Italy sees the arrival of ‘Aedes koreicus’, an alien species of mosquito unafraid of the cold. 🦟https://t.co/xRAoUtfBOJpic.twitter.com/r6hIQQ5AJv

Researchers found 6,000 mosquito larvae in Bergamo – Italy’s Lombardy Region – of which they discovered that 50 belonged to the alien species.

The article argued that this discovery “confirms the spread of this species in the north of Italy and raises concerns about its possible role as a vector of diseases in the Alpine area.”

🦟’Evidence for the spread of the alien species #Aedes koreicus in the #Lombardy region, #Italy’ by Agata Negri, @epis_sara et al. @crcpediatrico@LaStatale@bugbittentweetshttps://t.co/CR6Q3u78Yv@ECDC_EUpic.twitter.com/1bMvAoo4fN

Zanzara coreana, Che punge d’inverno .Aedes koreicus, arrivata in pianura padana nel 2011.Sorella di zanzara tigre .Si riproduce a basse temperature. Si cercherà un repellente nei suoi confronti .O si opterà per un vaccino ..Come per Civid 🤔 pic.twitter.com/xmbfPskcTS

The article concluded that there was an “urgent need for coordinated efforts” to monitor the mosquitos and prevent them from becoming a vector for pathogens.

la zanzara coreana è arrivata in lombardia. uno studio guidato dall’università statale di milano rivela la diffusione di una specie di zanzara capace di resistere ai climi più freddi, l’aedes koreicus. pic.twitter.com/Tm1cnxRNbe

Aedes koreicus has traditionally lived in Korea, Japan, and parts of China and Russia, but has since spread to other Asian and European countries, including Kazakhstan, Germany, and Switzerland.

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