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Weather blamed for rise of mosquitoes in Sussex
The hot and humid summer has led to a sharp rise in mosquitoes across Sussex.
Pharmacists are reporting that scores of people are looking for treatment for painful reactions to bites in the last six to eight weeks.
They are warning people to take extra precautions and get bites treated to reduce the chances of them becoming infected.
Health bosses say the number of cases of people being bitten is higher than in previous years and believe it is partly down to the muggy weather.
Sheenagh Thorogood, pharmacist at the Asda store in Hollingbury, Brighton, said: “Thanks to the wet, warm weather the bugs are definitely out this summer and sales of bite and sting products are up by 60% this year.
“We're offering our customers advice on a whole host of different products designed to take the sting out of their bite.”
Mina Siera, pharmacist at Weston's in Coombe Terrace, Brighton, said: “We have noticed a higher number of people than usual coming in with severe reactions and it has been busier than in recent years.
“We are seeing between seven and ten people a week.”
A spokesman for NHS Sussex said: “There has been an increase in numbers of mosquitoes this summer.
“If you have been bitten by an insect then the first port of call is your local pharmacy.
“The pharmacist will be able to advise on a cream or lotion which can be applied to the bite or, in the case of severe bites or a large number of bites, offer advice on oral antihistamines.”
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has had several reports this year from various areas in the UK via its recording scheme to do with biting nuisance from mosquitoes.
A spokeswoman said: “With the current weather, water flooded habitats in many areas would provide a good environment for certain species of mosquito to develop, so there are probably more mosquitoes around, although not all species actually bite humans - some only bite animals.
"The public can take simple steps to make sure they reduce any biting nuisance in their own gardens for instance, such as not leaving stagnant water lying around in pots or paddling pools as these are good habitats for mosquitoes. We would also encourage the public to send any samples of mosquitoes they have found to the HPA, as part of the recording scheme.”
For more details about the HPA monitoring scheme, visit www.hpa.org.uk.
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