MOSQUITOES carrying the deadly Zika virus could migrate to Britain because of global warming, scientists predict.
The insects may be lured north from tropical regions by warmer, more humid air.
Getty – Contributor Mozzie-borne viruses could hit the UK due to global warming
It would see up to one billion extra people across the UK, Europe and Canada exposed to mozzie-borne viruses for the first time by 2080.
Scientists tracked the expected movement of common disease-bearing mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, if temperatures keep rising.
The insects can carry viruses Zika, chikungunya and dengue fever which at its worst can cause haemorrhaging.
There is no vaccine for the first two and only a few in trial for dengue. And populations that have never faced these diseases have not built up immunity.
Getty Images Symptoms of the virus are mild in adults, but can be devastating in babies, with birth defects associated with Zika infections
Getty – Contributor The Zika virus can cause serious brain damage in babies before they are born but does not affect adults in the same way
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Study co-author Colin Carlson, of Georgetown University in Washington DC, said mosquitoes will find it “pretty easy” to spread with two degrees of warming.
In the worst-case scenario, the world will be 8.5C hotter by the end of the century. He added: “Many people may face exposure to such viruses for the first time in their lives — a particular worry.”
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