The Sun, one of the UK’s major daily newspapers, has released a report warning tourists about the presence of giant snails in the Canary Islands that can transmit meningitis. According to the report, this is the first time that giant African land snails have been detected in the Canary Islands, particularly on Tenerife, a popular destination that saw 230,000 British visitors in March of this year.
The authorities, although not specified explicitly in the publication, have also highlighted the danger posed by these giant African land snails, drawing attention to the havoc they have caused recently in the United States.
The alert was initially issued by the Canary Islands Invasive Alien Species Detection and Intervention Network (REDEXOS) on 12 July, stressing that this invasive species is considered highly dangerous due to its ability to transmit a type of meningitis.
The Sun stresses the importance of tourists exercising extreme caution and being aware of the risks. The giant African land snails harbor a deadly parasite known as rat lungworm, which can trigger meningitis in humans.
THE SUN: WHY IS IT A THREAT?
Experts have already warned that this snail can transmit a form of meningitis, posing a serious threat to human health. Additionally, it poses a significant threat to the main crops of the Canary Islands, such as bananas and tomatoes, as well as numerous wild plants.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I COME ACROSS ONE?
REDEXOS urges the public, if they encounter a giant African snail, not to touch it and immediately call 646 601 457. Public cooperation is crucial in controlling the spread of this species and minimizing its harmful effects.
Taking preventive measures and raising awareness are essential to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species, as they represent a significant threat to biodiversity and local ecosystems. Early detection and rapid response are key to protecting our natural environment and ensuring the health and safety of the population.