Dengue cases detected in the South West: what we know about the proliferation of the disease

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In full expansion during the end of summer, tiger mosquitoes caused several cases of dengue fever, including one in Haute-Garonne at the end of August. A disease caught abroad… but also in France.

Tiger mosquitoes are carriers of three diseases that are not very common in mainland France: zika, chikungunya and dengue fever. Regarding the latter, several cases were reported during the summer, some of which were incubated in France without the patient having traveled abroad beforehand. Here is what we know about the contaminations recently identified.

An “imported” disease in most cases

Each year, several cases of dengue reported by doctors are reported to the regional health agencies of the 67 French departments in mainland France where the tiger mosquitoes live. This disease, which in most cases causes joint pain and fever, can also exist in a severe form, called hemorrhagic, and cause major health complications. There is no specific curative treatment or vaccine against dengue fever, as the Ministry of Health reminds us. Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are contraindicated due to the risk of bleeding.

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Most of those affected are cases of “imported” dengue fever, contracted abroad and incubated in France; French tiger mosquitoes are therefore not responsible for the 123 cases of imported dengue fever recorded during the summer on August 26, 2022, and distributed throughout France, including in departments without the presence of the insect. However, some of the cases affecting the South are more particular and worrying.

Indigenous cases

3 autochthonous cases of dengue were confirmed by the ARS in the Southwest between July 1 and September 2: one in the Pyrénées-Orientales, one in Haute-Garonne, and one in the Hautes-Pyrénées. The town of Salvetat-Saint-Gilles, near Toulouse, was thus affected by a case at the end of August, requiring mosquito control in the neighborhood of the infected person. These cases are “indigenous” because contracted by people who have not recently traveled abroad: the disease was therefore carried by a tiger mosquito exposed to the disease in France.

Indeed, if the disease is native to tropical countries, the great adaptability of the tiger mosquito and the French climate, favorable to its development, explain why several cases per year can be autochthonous. However, we cannot speak of an epidemic given the very low number of cases. The Parisian also reports several cases detected in the PACA region.

A well-defined health protocol

The ARS protocol stipulates that mosquito control must take place around the home of each person affected by the disease, as set up by the municipality of La Salvetat-Saint-Gilles; any case must therefore be reported to avoid complications and prevent proliferation. To guard against the harmful effects associated with the planned mosquito repellent spraying, the municipality of Haute-Garonne recommends that the neighbors of the affected household, among other things, bring in the linen, the children’s toys and the food located outside. outside, or to bring the animals inside and protect their bowls.

The Occitanie Regional Health Agency has reported that none of the indigenous cases reported have a serious form. As for zika and chikungunya, while several imported cases are reported each year, their frequency remains much rarer than that of dengue fever.

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