Faced with the proliferation of the tiger mosquito, the departments of Occitania are in the red, just like many other departments of Metropolitan France. But what does this alert really mean and what do the figures from previous years say about the number of Dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika contamination?
You have certainly noticed that the tiger mosquito has made a comeback in Occitania. The little beast with immense nuisance powers has settled on the coast, and far beyond. It gradually colonized all of France. As a result, 67 departments are now placed on red alert by the health services.
The map available on the vigilance-moustiques.com website shows that the southern departments are concerned. All the departments of the Occitanie region are colored in red, but the distribution zone of the tiger mosquito goes back much further north. The insect is now well established under a line that goes from Loire-Atlantique to Haute-Saone, but which also includes Île-de-France.
#Communicated ud83duddde | Chikungunya, dengue, zika ud83dudc49 the tiger mosquito under surveillance during its period of activity in mainland France from May to November u2935
– Ministry of Solidarity and Health ud83c uddeb ud83c uddf7 ud83c uddea ud83c uddfa (@Sante_Gouv) May 3, 2022
What does this red alert mean?
So should we really be worried about this red alert and what does it mean precisely? What worries the health authorities, and in particular the Regional Health Agencies (ARS), is that this tiger mosquito – which originates from Southeast Asia and only arrived in France in 2004 – can transmit diseases, including dengue fever, chikungunya or Zika.
“In itself, red does not mean an important alert, indicates Isabelle Esteve-Moussion, vector control coordinator for ARS d’Occitanie, at the microphone of South Radio. This simply means that in the department, these diseases could be transmitted in certain municipalities due to the presence of this mosquito. If it is not present, these diseases are not transmitted.”
What do the contamination figures say?
Each year, the Regional Health Agencies pay particular attention to monitoring dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika. Data collected in an extremely precise manner, part of which is available on the santepubliquefrance site.
From May 1 to December 10, 2021, 165 cases of dengue fever and 3 cases of chikungunya were confirmed in mainland France. No cases of Zika have been listed. But beware, almost all of the patients contracted the virus during an external trip (24 in total in Occitania).
In detail, only two cases of autochthonous dengue appear in the data from Public Health France. This is a patient infected in July in the department of Var andanother infected in Montpellier, Hérault, in November.
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