The heat stroke that France has been going through for a few days brings with it its share of good news, but it also comes badly: droughtAnd a heat wave…and a mosquito infestation.
One species is particularly feared: Aedes albopictus, better known as the tiger mosquito. Composite image of the suspect: He is from the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, less than 5 mm in length (smaller than a penny), black and white striped body, bites during the day, is silent and his language very severe and painful.
The tiger mosquito can transmit diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya or even Zika (since 2015). But it does not transmit these diseases unless it is contaminated.
A species that has existed since 2004 in urban France
In Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the invasive insect has been around since 2012. The Regional Health Agency (ARS) classifies the tiger mosquito as “established and active” in ten divisions: Ain, Ardèche, Drôme, Isère, Loire, Puy-de-Dôme and Rhône, Savoie, Haute-Savoie and since 2020 Cantal.
As for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, the tiger mosquito has been there since 2004. Together with the Occitanie region, it is the region most affected by the tiger mosquito in France. Thus, more than 62% of the municipalities are colonized and 97% of the population live in contact with the insect.
In our departments, only Vaucluse has a proportion of colonized municipalities greater than 40% (as of January 1, 2022).
39 cases of dengue were recorded in Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and PACA in 2021
In 2021, 164 cases of dengue caused by the tiger mosquito were recorded in France. Among them, 20 cases of dengue were identified in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, while the Baka region witnessed 19 similar cases and one case of chikungunya. The vast majority of dengue cases were imported from Reunion Island (108).
With the return of the intense heat, the process of formation of the tiger mosquito accelerates in all departments, even in those where it is not yet present.
Questioned by Dauphiné Libéré in early May, Interdepartmental Convention on Mosquito Control in the Rhône-Alpes Region (EID Rhône-Alpes) She stressed that “all conditions are almost met.” [le moustique-tigre, NDLR] It begins to multiply again. By the time the larvae develop, the first inconveniences should be felt at the end of May, beginning of June. »
Currently, no case of transmission of the virus by tiger mosquito has been observed in urban France. Cases of the disease were announced abroad, thanks to the most favorable climatic conditions for its spread (tropical climate, and therefore hot and humid).
Simple steps to protect yourself from tiger mosquitoes
Since more than 80% of tiger mosquitoes establish their nests on private property, public authorities are counting on the work and vigilance of the population to eliminate areas of spread.
To combat the reproduction of this highly invasive species, health authorities recommend a few simple measures:
- removal of the so-called “stagnant” water, that is, areas where water freezes on the surface (plates under plant pots, tarpaulins, containers left outside, etc.);
- Regular cleaning of gardens and terraces (especially gutters and litter boxes);
- In the most exposed areas, install mosquito nets on doors and windows and air conditioning;
- Wear long clothes and protect your feet and ankles.
- Spray your clothes with an insect repellent or use a skin repellent (recommended by your doctor or pharmacist), which will repel mosquitoes without killing them.
According to the National Health Security Agency (ANSES), The bite of a tiger mosquito is distinguished from the bites of other insects by an itching sensation that manifests itself very quickly and intensifies for several minutes after the bite.
A bubble-like blister may appear. The tiger mosquito bites almost immediately, and then the itching disappears. However, they can reappear for several days if there is a change in temperature (after a shower for example).
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