Rome, 29 May 2022 – Fight against mosquitoes, would you like to have a personal entomologist to ask all about the vampire that torments you? The system exists, it’s called Mosquito alert. Just download the app, take (if you can) the photo of the insect or in any case let people know that you have been stung. And that message will go to a task force of experts who will give you the answer.
The Mosquito alert project
The Mosquito alert project was conceived by the university Sapienza of Rome with L’University of Bologna, the Higher Institute of Health (Iss), the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Venice and the Muse of Trento. The app was invented in Spain, where it gave flattering results, allowing you to track invasion by new species and identify the most infested areas.
What health risks?
It is worth remembering that the mosquito is the animal most dangerous in the world, due to the risk of transmitting viruses. In comparison, even sharks pale in color.
Explains Alessandra Della Torreparasitologist from Sapienza who follows the project: “You can also send a report of bites without photos, which is naturally easier. But for us they are still important findings to understand where mosquitoes are most active”.
Mosquito alarm, what recommendations?
Recalls the teacher: “This is also the right time to repeat a fundamental recommendation of public health, the first prevention is always the same: avoid holding backwater in the gardens or on the terraces. It is essential to empty the containers regularly because if we do interventions in public areas but then everyone raises mosquitoes at home, the problem is not solved “.
What does citizen science mean?
Mosquito alert, explains Della Torre, is inspired by the principle of everyone’s science – citizen science -, “Of course, the more people use it, the more information is guaranteed to the institutions”. It traces the history of the App, “born in Spain in 2014, started in October 2020 in Italy. We are the third country in Europe in terms of reports”.
What are the most common mosquito species in Italy?
In our country the native mosquito species, the nightmare that frequents our summer nights, is the Culex. Not so inocent, “it transmits the West Nile virus – recalls the expert -. We are talking about the most widespread mosquito in Italy in urban but also rural areas”.
What are the invasive mosquito species?
But Mosquito Alert is mainly focused on identifying “invasive species, the most famous being the Tiger mosquito, in Italy for 30 years now. While they are still expanding the Korean and the Japanese. Problems because they transmit viruses “.
How do invasive species move?
“These invasive species – explains the professor of Sapienza – unlike the Culex sting during the day”. Do you have the feeling that they are invisible? Make no mistake, “they are more careful not to be seen in order not to be eliminated”.
Korean mosquitoes, what’s the latest news?
“From the province of Vicenza – says the parasitologist – we have received reports of Korean mosquitoes that also bite at home. Interesting because usually the catches are made outside, in the open”.
How does the Mosquito alert App work?
To know everything about the mosquitoes that torment us as they said after downloading the app, you can send the photo of our vampire. “The images – says the professor – are validated by 3 experts who must agree on the identification. Then, within a few days, a notification will arrive on the mobile phone to the person who sent the report. All the photos are inserted in a database with which maps. Forecasts can also be made where they may be present even if they have not been reported “.
Mosquitoes and malaria, who are the famous victims?
Alexander the Great is also said to have died of malaria. Champion Fausto Coppi was certainly a victim of this, after taking part in a race in North Africa.