Originally from Asia, the tiger mosquito is implanted and active in several departments in France. What does his sting look like? What to do? What diseases can be transmitted? Is it really dangerous? Answers with Stéphane Gayet, infectologist.
The tiger mosquito, or aedes albopictus, is a mosquito originally from Asia, but is present in most countries. "He arrived in Europe in the 2000s, by plane, or more likely by boat, because the life of mosquitoes is related to humidity"explains Stéphane Gayet, an infectiologist at the Chu in Strasbourg. "It's called a tiger mosquito in ra reference to the white lines that line his body and his black legsThe, he says. The main problem of this mosquito is that it can carry diseases, such as chikungunya virus, or dengue fever. "However, it is very rare that we find these viruses in our country"adds the specialist.
Since the beginning of 2019, 9 new departments have started writing: Charente-Maritime, Côte-d & # 39; Or, Loire, Nièvre, Puy-de-Dome, Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Essonne and Seine-Saint-Denis. They are added to:
- 42 already in the red in 2018 : Aisne, Hautes-Alpes, Hautes-Pyrenees, Ariège, Lozere, Indre, Maine-et-Loire, Corrèze, Val-de-Marne, Lower Rhine, Haut-Rhin, Vendée, Saône-et-Loire, Rhône, Ain, Isère, Savojo, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Var, Alpes-Maritimes, Haute-Corse, Corse-du-Sud, Drome, Vaucluse, Bouches-du-Rhone, Ardeche, Gard, Herault, Aveyron, Tarn, Aude, Pyrenees-Orientales, Haute-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot, Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Gers, Gironde, Landes, Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
- 15 others in orange watch.
- 30 departments in the yellow.
Mosquitoes are also present 53 French departments especially in the north, the departments of the Atlantic coast, the Southwest, the Mediterranean shore, and the Rhone and Ain territories. Only the mountainous regions and that of the Great East are spared. The year 2018 considered a "great Moscow year" also saw its Moscow season start very early and end very late "Mosquitoes are always present at the approach of Christmas."
• Recognize a tiger mosquito
"The tiger mosquito is very dark, almost black, with fine white stripes. From these stripes comes its name: aedes albopictus, white means" white "and pictus" striped ", hence" striped with white "" explains the specialist. Even in flight, it is easy to see that the tiger mosquito is darker than the others. Another detail to recognize: it tends to go out during the day: "It is actually more day-to-day than the native mosquito: it has more daily activity, while the native mosquito is more twilight and nocturnal."adds a doctor of infectious disease. In addition, the tiger mosquito would be a little more "aggressive" than the others: "It's true that stinging mammals or males are needed for female mosquitoes, but tiger mosquitoes seem to prefer humans."
TheThe sting is the same as that of a mosquito "
• Size of the tiger mosquito
The tiger mosquito is smaller than the native mosquito we have here: aedes albopictus is only a few millimeters long. The native mosquito is usually between half an inch and one centimeter.
"Visually, the sting is the same: we can feel some pain, it's about little red button, it swells and it speeds up pretty fast, describes Stéphane Gayet. The button looks like a light bulb slightly, from 5 mm to 2 cm in diameter, depending on the people. The button will turn red and expand if there is a bad skin reaction.
"It is always important to disinfect with antiseptic, immediately after the injection, to limit the risk of contagious disease," explains the doctor. Once this is done, the spike will go away on its own.
"The tiger mosquito is a potential vector of some viral diseases, but it does not carry them systematically", begins the specialist. "The best known are the Dengue, Chikungunya virus and Zika virus. He can deliver them from one man to another ", He explains. Specifically, the mosquito contracts the disease by punishing a contaminated individual, then transmitting it by punishing another human. If it is punctured, the patient remains contagious a few hours before the onset of the manifestations and during the acute phase, generally 5 days after the onset of the manifestations. Chikungunya is a disease most often benign, which causes symptoms such as fatigue and pain that can persist for several weeks. If you develop fever and joint pain after a mosquito bite, you should consult your doctor.
Stéphane Gayet is reassuring about the case of the tiger mosquito: "Indeed it invaded France: it is present in more than 50 departments, for example in the southern regions, PACA, New Aquitaine, Occitan, but also Alsace, Ile-de-France", It starts. "But do not be alarmed, this mosquito is not necessarily dangerous: for it to transmit viral diseases, such as Dengue fever, chikungunya or Zika infection, first of all it has to bite any One of the contaminated, and there are very few cases in France. " So you have to be vigilant, but it's not something you have to worry about, because these mosquitoes are a risk only in countries where these diseases are.
If you notice tiger mosquitoes, they are asked to report to the ARS or the prefecture, which will be able to launch a battlefield.
"Mosquitoes need stagnant water, explains the infectologist. It is therefore necessary to fight against this stagnant water around the houses, in the gardens, for example in the plant rooms, the pools, basins, tires, lists the specialist. To prevent mosquitoes from entering homes, mosquitoes can be effective. Repellents can also be used. However, electrical devices such as transmitters or ultrasound transmitters have low efficiency. Lemon protects for only about an hour against biting and is not recommended for children under 2 years. It is therefore necessary to first seek the advice of your doctor or, on the contrary, your pharmacist, as some products do not work and others do not recommend pregnant women and children.
* monitoring that periodically captures mosquitoes with traps placed in stations. These mosquitoes are identified and sent for analysis to the Laboratory of the Regional Health Agency.
Thanks to Stéphane Gayet, an infectiologist at Chu Strasbourg.