A Canary Islands hotspot popular with holidaymakers may face a deadly outbreak of dengue and yellow fever in the coming days.
Concerned health officials in Fuerteventura, off the coast of Africa, have discovered the mosquito responsible for the two killer infections.
Scores of homes on the island, some owned by expats, are now being fumigated in a desperate attempt to contain any potential outbreaks.
The mosquitos were discovered on a residential estate, prompting widespread fears the insects could be living in the homes of unaware locals.
And locals have also been asked to send in ‘suspicious’ pictures of any mosquitos so the spread of the lethal insects can be managed.
It comes as sun-seeking holidaymakers are getting ready to pack their bags to head to the island, which averages 20°C in December.
Thousands are expected to embark on the four-long plane journey to escape the gloomy weather and soak up the winter sun.
Concerned health officials in Fuerteventura, off the coast of Africa, have discovered the mosquito responsible for the two killer infections
Regional health officials revealed last week the Aedes type mosquitos behind the spread of the painful diseases had been discovered on the island.
The insect – the Aedes aegypti – can also spread other viruses common in tropical and sub-tropical areas including Zika fever, Mayaro and Chikungunya.
The latter has no cure and, like the other viruses associated with the mosquito, can cause fever and severe joint pain before leading to death.
A small pocket of the mosquitoes were detected on a residential estate called Las Granadas near to Fuenteventura Hospital in the island capital Puerto del Rosario.
Residents there, who are thought to include some expats, were told to leave their homes today for at least 12 hours so they could be fumigated.
Regional health officials, who told homeowners of their decision at a meeting, have hired a private firm to do the work.
The same meeting was attended by local politicians including Puerto del Rosario’s mayor Nicolas Gutierrez and tropical disease experts.
The fumigation of more than 30 houses in the Las Granadas area, due to take place in stages, is expected to last two days.
Scores of homes on the island, some owned by expats, are now being fumigated in a desperate attempt to contain any potential outbreaks