'Zika mosquito' eggs found near Folkestone in Kent

Asian tiger mosquito Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Eggs of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) have been found near Folkestone in Kent

The eggs of a mosquito capable of transmitting tropical diseases, including the Zika virus, have been found for the first time in the UK.

People in Stanford near Folkestone have been sent letters telling them Asian tiger mosquito eggs had been discovered nearby.

Public Health England said no further evidence of the insect had been detected.

It said there was "currently no risk to public health in the UK".

Jolyon Medlock, head of medical entomology at Public Health England (PHE), said: "We regularly monitor mosquito species and look for any which are new to the UK.

"Enhanced monitoring of the area was implemented and no further evidence of this mosquito has so far been found.

"As a precaution we advised the local authority to use insecticide as a means of control."

PHE confirmed the spraying of insecticide had been fully completed at the site.

The Zika infection has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains.

Public Health England said it would continue to monitor the situation closely.

Two years ago Public Health England set up traps at motorway service stations to monitor this species of mosquito over fears the insects could enter the UK on lorries from Europe. None was found.

Asian tiger mosquito borne diseases:

  • Dengue is a major cause of illness worldwide, causing about 100 million episodes of feverish illness a year and can be fatal
  • Zika infection, which can also be fatal in severe cases, can cause abnormality in unborn children
  • Chikungunya symptoms include the sudden onset of fever and joint pain, particularly affecting the hands, wrists, ankles and feet
  • Yellow fever can cause bleeding, jaundice and kidney failure

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