It is no longer necessary to travel to Brazil or Cambodia to contract a tropical disease. In these uncertain health times, many people have had to cancel their vacation to a far away land.
But know that even if you can no longer handle strange diseases… strange diseases will come to you!
- Diseases such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya, once associated with the tropics, are now present in France, largely due to the spread of the tiger mosquito.
- In 2019, 923 cases of dengue fever, 17 cases of Zika virus, and 113 cases of chikungunya were identified in France. Although the majority of cases are imported from abroad, the number of local cases is increasing.
- To combat these diseases, it is necessary to take measures to prevent mosquito bites, such as regular garden maintenance, eliminating standing water and using mosquito repellents.
Dengue, Zika and chikungunya are found in France
It is a fact, the number of diseases spread by mosquitoes continues to increase in France. Some regions, such as Occitanie, are more affected than others, but all appear to be globally affected.
The fault of these small winged insects, whose buzzing sound has become so annoying, that they are no longer satisfied with scratching us and preventing us from sleeping…
The results observed by French health authorities are worrying. In 2019, 923 cases of dengue were identified in France.
To be sure, almost all of them came from imported cases (i.e. travelers who contracted the disease abroad), but this number has increased significantly in recent years.
The same applies to Zika (17 cases in France in 2019).
An unprecedented fact: Chikungunya is spreading in our country and infecting 113 people in 2019. The common factor in these so-called arboviral diseases is of course the dreaded tiger mosquito, whose population continues to grow in France. It is currently present in 51 departments in France, and is not expected to stop anytime soon.
The evils that happened? For dengue fever, severe headache, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, rash, etc. Zika virus can cause symptoms very similar to influenza (fatigue, fever, muscle and joint pain, etc.). Chikungunya is the cause of all these cumulative symptoms (fever, vomiting, headache, pain, etc.).
Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable to these diseases and can see their condition worsen to an alarming extent without rapid hospitalization.
How to effectively protect yourself from tiger mosquitoes?
There is only one solution to combat the spread of these extremely debilitating diseases: preventing tiger mosquitoes from biting.
Here are some good etiquettes for doing this:
- Maintain your garden and plants by trimming and cleaning brush regularly. This eliminates the resting areas of the tiger mosquito;
- Prevent stagnant water by turning buckets, cups, vases, cans and bowls outside;
- Releasing fish into ponds and fountains to feed on mosquito larvae;
- Encourage biodiversity in your garden and the return of animals and insects. In fact, swallows, bats and dragonflies for example are excellent hunters of tiger mosquitoes.
These very simple measures to apply would actually make it possible to reduce mosquito numbers.
On an individual level, protect yourself from bites by wearing long, light-colored clothing and using mosquito nets.
You can also of course use repellent lotion, light mosquito repellent candles, burn citronella sticks… everyone has their own style!
In this way, you will protect your health and, more broadly, the health of the entire population in France by reducing the risk of the spread of serious diseases.
These diseases reach France due to mosquitoes