According to Lorna Culverwell, a doctoral student at the University of Helsinki, information on the distribution of mosquito species that transmit any pathogens, including malaria is important, particularly as the climate is warming.
“As malaria is not currently endemic in Finland, there is no reason to panic at this finding. However, the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that we have to be prepared for all public health eventualities,” Culverwell says.
“From the perspective of preventing and controlling mosquito-borne pathogens such as malaria, Sindbis virus (Pogosta disease) or Usutu virus, we need to have basic knowledge of the mosquito species occurring in Finland, their distribution and which disease-causing pathogens each species can potentially transmit. Such knowledge provides the framework for future disease control measures,” she adds.
The mosquitoes studied in the survey were collected throughout Finland between 2013 and 2018, most of them by Culverwell.
Anopheles daciae or Anopheles messeae, potential malaria transmitters, were found in the regions of Uusimaa, Varsinais-Suomi, Kymenlaakso, Kanta-Häme, Pirkanmaa, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa, Päijät-Häme, Satakunta and Åland.