Irish tourists to Spain warned of blood-feasting insect

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Irish tourists traveling to Spain this summer are being warned of a ‘new tropical virus’ which feeds on human blood and is found in hotels.

Health watchdogs in Spain have sounded the alarm over the new form of bedbug which they say has been discovered in tourist accommodation.

The National Association of Environmental Health Companies (ANECPLA) has warned in recent days that the new virus has been identified and feeds on human blood.

Irish holidaymakers are being warned of a new type of bug found in tourist accommodation Photo: JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

The parasitic insect measures between 5 and 6 mm and belongs to the species of bed bugs.

Insect bites can cause discomfort and even various allergic reactions, insomnia or stress.

Jorge Galvan, Managing Director of ANECPLA, said: “Due to their small size, it is common for them to be stored among clothing or suitcases, causing new infestations in homes, hotels, apartments, etc

Experts say bedbugs can be found in any accommodation, regardless of standard Pic: Shutterstock

“Globalization, higher pollution levels and rising temperatures due to climate change are driving this resurgence of bedbugs in Europe.

“This is undoubtedly a very serious emerging public health problem which, according to ANECPLA, is important to transcend the private sphere and be addressed at the institutional level. Otherwise, we run the risk of it becoming chronic, with all the implications that may have.

Insects are closely related to the hotel industry and tourist accommodation, but the level of accommodation does not matter when it comes to insects.

In recent years, the bedbug population has increased by more than 500%.

Originally from Asia, cimex hemipterus has colonized Australia, the United States and Europe in recent years.

It is a species very resistant to conventional insecticides.

And although insects have not so far been linked to disease transmission ANECPLA warned that this is not always the case.

‘ANECPLA calls for the necessary collaboration between the sector and the Public Administrations in order to carry out a more rigorous control of this question.

“Until now, Chagas disease, a deadly disease endemic to Central and South America, was the only one proven to be transmitted by bedbugs, despite its powerful vectorial capacity. However, this circumstance may change at any time”.

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