Here are the most affected departments in our regions

The heatwave that France has been experiencing for a few days has brought good news but also bad news: drought, heatwave… and mosquito invasion.

One species is particularly feared: Aedes albopictus, better known as the tiger mosquito. Composite portrait of the suspect: Native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, he is less than 5 millimeters tall (less than a penny), has a black and white striped body, bites during the day, is mute and his bite is very painful.

The tiger mosquito can be a vector for diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya or even zika (since 2015). But it can only transmit these diseases if it is contaminated.

A species present in metropolitan France since 2004

The invasive insect has been present in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes since 2012. The region’s Regional Health Authority (ARS) qualifies the tiger mosquito as “established and active” in ten departments: Ain, Ardèche, Drôme, Isère, Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, Savoie, Haute-Savoie and, since 2020, Cantal.

The tiger mosquito has been present in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region since 2004. Together with the Occitanie region, it is the region most affected by the tiger mosquito in France. More than 62% of the communities are settled and 97% of the population lives in contact with the insect.

In our departments, only Vaucluse has a percentage of colonized communes greater than 40% (as of January 1, 2022).

39 cases of dengue fever registered in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and PACA in 2021

In 2021, 164 cases of dengue caused by the tiger mosquito were recorded in France. Among them, 20 dengue cases had been identified in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, while there had been 19 similar cases and one chikungunya case in the Paca region. The vast majority of dengue cases were imported from Reunion Island (108).

With the return of intense heat, the establishment of the tiger mosquito is accelerating in all departments, including those where it is not yet present.

Interviewed by the Dauphiné Libéré in early May, the Interdepartmental Agreement on Mosquito Control in the Rhône-Alpes Region (EID Rhône-Alpes) confirmed that “all the conditions for this are almost met [le moustique-tigre, NDLR] begins to multiply again. Until the larvae develop, the first nuisance should be felt at the end of May or beginning of June. »

So far, no case of virus transmission by the tiger mosquito has been observed in metropolitan France. Cases of the disease have been reported overseas, thanks to climatic conditions even more favorable for its spread (tropical climate, therefore hot and humid).

Simple steps to protect yourself from tiger mosquitoes

With more than 80% of tiger mosquitoes nesting on private property, authorities are counting on community action and vigilance to eradicate ranges.

To combat the proliferation of this highly invasive species, health authorities recommend a few simple measures:

  • Remove so-called “stagnant” water, ie areas where water stagnates on the surface (coasters under flowerpots, tarpaulins, containers left outside, etc.);
  • Clean gardens and terraces regularly (especially gutters and dustbins);
  • Put mosquito nets on doors and windows in the most exposed areas and turn on air conditioning.
  • Wear long clothes and protect your feet and ankles.
  • Impregnate your clothing with an insect repellent or use skin repellents (recommended by your doctor or pharmacist) that repel mosquitoes without killing them.

According to the National Health Security Agency (ANSES), the tiger mosquito bite differs from other insect bites in that itching sensation occurs very quickly and intensifies a few minutes after the bite.

A blister-like blister may appear. The bite of the tiger mosquito scratches almost immediately, then the itch disappears. However, they can reappear for a few days with changes in temperature (e.g. after a shower).

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