As more local cases are being reported, health authorities in France are cautioning the public to be aware of the risk of dengue fever, as well as chikungunya and zika, which are transmitted by tiger mosquitoes.
Five native dengue cases were found in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA) and Occitanie regions in July 2022. A "local" or "indigenous" case is one where the infection originated from a tiger mosquito that was already present in France and was found in patients who had not previously traveled to a foreign at-risk location.
When an infected person visits France from a nation where there is a danger of transmission, they are then bitten by a tiger mosquito, which spreads the cases. The mosquito then serves as a transmitter, passing it on to individuals who have not traveled.
The Direction générale de la santé (DGS), a healthy body, has issued a warning to the public and health professionals about the elevated risk as a result.
"The occurrence of episodes in previously unaffected departments, such as Pyrénées-Orientales, Haute-Garonne, and Hautes-Pyrénées, testify to an increase in the risk of dengue in metropolitan France, as well as of chikungunya and zika, both transmitted by the tiger mosquito," it was stated in a statement.
The DGS has warned that cases and outbreaks are likely to occur in other regions of the nation in the upcoming weeks. Any cases must be reported to the ARS (Agencies Régionales de Santé), the relevant regional health agency, for the required preventative measures to be put in place.
These will probably include anti-mosquito measures.
Santé Publique France discovered 139 instances of imported dengue between May 1 and September 2. However, that number is believed to be at least double in actuality because the condition is frequently asymptomatic.
There have also been 26 native cases reported, including three significant outbreaks in PACA and Occitanie. Since 2010, there have been an average of 12 native instances per year, as opposed to this.
The following signs and symptoms of dengue fever:
· Joint pain
· Digestive problems
Sometimes a red rash or "patches" can also emerge.
The DGS cautions that symptoms could worsen and necessitate prompt medical attention. Significant "warning signs" include:
· A fever of over 39°C after the fifth day of symptoms
· Significant abdominal pain with or without diarrhea
· Frequent vomiting
· Agitation or drowsiness
· Oedema and heavy bleeding or signs of hemorrhage
Humans cannot get dengue on their own, but an infected mosquito can spread the disease to humans through mosquito bites.
There are already tiger mosquitoes in 67 French departments, and the number is growing.
According to the health ministry, it is crucial to stop mosquito breeding and dissemination to stop epidemics.
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