ACCORDING to a report from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), dengue fever will soon become common in England. This is based on claims that we will shortly have the same climate as the south of France!
The story was well co-ordinated to dominate media headlines. For instance Sky News reported: ‘Asian tiger mosquitoes carrying dengue fever could be common in England by the middle of this century, according to government health experts.
‘The insects have spread across large parts of Europe in recent years because of warmer conditions – and tend to live in urban areas and feed during the day, putting people at greater risk.
‘They are known for their striped body and its potential to spread dengue fever, zika virus and chikungunya – diseases normally associated with tropical regions.
‘The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) fears dengue fever could be transmitted in London by 2060, and the mosquito itself could become widespread across England in the 2040s.’
Not only is this all based on preposterous temperature assumptions, it also shows up a total lack of understanding of how Asian tiger mosquitoes spread and breed. This is quite shameful for so-called medical experts.
This particular species of mosquito originates from South East Asia, where it is already adapted to temperate climates. It spread to Europe and the Americas because of the expansion of global trade. In particular, they thrive in used tyres. (More detail here).
In Europe, they are believed to have first appeared in Albania in the 1970s, quickly spreading to Italy and around the Mediterranean via mass transport, not because of a ‘warming climate’. Indeed, they are already well established in New England, where winters are much colder than here.
Most of Britain is already warm enough for Asian tiger mosquitoes to thrive. As with all mosquito-vectored diseases, it has long been known that mosquito control is key – proper use of insecticides, for instance, and the elimination of potential breeding habitats, such as tyres, bottles and other containers in rubbish tips.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says: ‘Aedes albopictus [Asian tiger], a secondary dengue vector in Asia, has spread to North America and more than 25 countries in the European Region, largely due to the international trade in used tyres (a breeding habitat) and other goods (e.g. lucky bamboo). Ae. albopictus is highly adaptive and, therefore, can survive in cooler temperate regions of Europe. Its spread is due to its tolerance to temperatures below freezing, hibernation, and ability to shelter in microhabitats.’
Dr Paul Reiter, one of the world’s leading experts on mosquito-related diseases, also ridiculed the claims by UKHSA chief executive Jenny Harries, calling her pronouncements ‘entirely fictional’ and ‘shameless’. He added: ‘The natural range of the Tiger mosquito, an Asian species, extends from the tropics to regions where mean January temperatures are around minus ten degrees Celsius. Northern strains are able to survive because in late summer, as days grow shorter, the eggs they lay are dormant and remain unhatched until spring arrives’.
In any case the NHS is not particularly exercised about dengue fever. Its website says: ‘Dengue, also known as dengue fever, is an infection spread by mosquitoes. It’s not usually serious and often gets better on its own. Some people get a more severe type of dengue, but this is rare . . . you cannot catch it from another person.’
The UKHSA scaremongering was not limited to dengue fever. The report also warned that climate change would bring tropical diseases, pandemics, extreme heat, floods, increased food prices and wildfires, all leading to mental health problems!
Jenny Harries repeated the lie that we had nearly 3,000 excess deaths during the heatwave last year. As the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed at the time, the heatwave merely brought forward deaths by a few days or so. Over the summer as a whole, mortality rates were no higher than other summers.
And as we have seen again this year, summer always has the lowest death rates.
This does not stop Harries from compounding her lies: ‘Using a high emission scenario, UK health-related deaths are estimated to increase by over 100 per cent in the 2030s, over 500 per cent in the 2050s, and over 1,000 per cent by 2070.’
We are also warned of increasing wildfire risk, as summers become drier, even though dry summers used to be much more frequent in the past:
And we are told: ‘Food prices are also likely to become more volatile as much of what the UK imports is from regions sensitive to climate impacts such as drought,’ even though world food production keeps soaring to new highs every year or so:
The hellhole projected by the UKHSA is so bad that I am forced to wonder how the inhabitants of the Dordogne or Bordeaux manage every year!
As for Jenny Harries, she should be fired for gross incompetence in signing this error-ridden report.