Pollensa.—A vet in Pollensa has issued a warning to all dog and cat owners to take precautions against a new parasite that has been discovered on the island and that could spread to humans as well.

The dirofilaria immitis is a virus transmitted by mosquito bites and lodges in the lungs at first but can spread to the heart when it spreads beyond control.

Marcos Markowski, the vet who has been studying the disease, said that dogs are the more likely to be in danger, followed by cats and then humans and that the primary aim is to contain the problem. “The issue is that sometimes dogs already have the virus and it is already spreading but they may not immediately show the symptoms.” When it gets to that stage (coughing, tiredness, bloated abdomen) it can become “a very long and complex treatment process” he added. So far cases have been reported in Albufera and Albufereta. Vaccines for the bacteria are cheap, efficient and recommended.