He first recognizes him by the black-and-white striped body. He prefers the town and village, where there are few competitors and predators. Then he cooks it more during the day (early in the morning and late afternoon), while the other species stings at night. And while living largely outside, it's not the one who will prevent us from sleeping with his drowning … Finally, among the 70 kinds of mosquitoes present in metropolitan France, the tiger mosquito is the only able to convey tropical diseases, Dengue, chikungunya or zika virus. ..
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Why do we talk so much about him?
Because it is very invasive and constantly gains importance, especially since it travels by train or car with us! Unlike other mosquitoes, they do not need rivers, lakes or duplication pools. The very small surface of standing water is sufficient for it. He arrived in France only in 2004 (across Italy), and in 2019 he is present in 51 departments, ie more than half of the country, mainly in the south (north of Bordeaux) and the Paris Crown, but also in Alsace.
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What are the risks?
He is already at the beginning of some isolated cases of dengue or chikungunya in the south of France. On the other hand, there has not been any case locally collected in continental France for now. Denga usually causes normal fever, a type of flu, but in 1 to 5% of cases it can degenerate into fatal hemorrhagic fever. Chikungunya can cause fever, joint pain, and pain in the body, and is particularly dangerous for people who are already fragile (elderly or immunocompromised). There is no vaccine or treatment against these diseases, so the best way to avoid them is to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
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How to protect yourself?
Firstly, by limiting its spread: if you live in the affected area, do not allow yourself to retire to the balcony and garden items that can receive water in case of rain or automatic watering (toys, stoppers, empty pools) …). Put the sand in a cup under the flowers. To avoid puncturing, you can use active spray with proven effect: DEET, IR3535, Citriodiol and KBR3023. Beware of bracelets, candles or mosquitoes, their effectiveness is very limited. It also helps to wear long and loose clothing (keep in mind that mosquito bites even jeans near the body).
Thanks to Frédéric Simard, IRD Montpellier, an infectious disease specialist.