Tiger mosquito: why dengue fever cases are increasing in France

The problem is that the tiger mosquito is a potential vector for dengue fever, an infectious disease that is transmitted from person to person through the bite of one of these infected mosquitoes. And this virus, which circulates regularly in the French departments of the Antilles, as well as in the French islands of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, is now proliferating in France. Some 26 cases of indigenous dengue fever have been reported since the beginning of the year, health authorities announced on Wednesday September 14. This is much more than in previous years since in 2020, they had identified 14 cases and in 2021, only two.

These cases of autochthonous dengue fever, mainly recorded in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Occitanie regions, occurred in people who had not traveled to the usual area where the virus circulates, overseas or abroad, within 15 days before the onset of symptoms, said the Directorate General of Health (DGS). So how can such an upsurge be explained? For Anna-Bella Failloux, “The multiplication of these indigenous cases of dengue coincides in particular with the return of travelers from tropical areas where this disease is more prevalent”.

And to add: “When these populations, who do not necessarily know they are infected with dengue fever, go to settle in an area where the tiger mosquito is particularly present, if they are bitten again, they will infect their host who will in turn reinfect a another person. And so on. Because if this female mosquito has been infected with dengue fever once in her life, she will remain so all her life. So, every time she bites, she will transmit the virus.”she warns.

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