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Several cases of dengue fever, some indigenous, recorded around Toulouse: the authorities warn

Tiger mosquitoes can transmit dengue fever. Cases have been recorded in Haute-Garonne. (©Illustration / Adobe Stock)

They multiply at Toulouse and in the surrounding communities. This summer, numerous mosquito control operations took place in Upper Garonne. The cause ? Suspicions of dengue feverof chikungunya and of Zika. Cases of autochthonous dengue also proven. A first in Haute-Garonne.

First cases of dengue fever in Salvetat-Saint-Gilles

At the beginning of September 2022, the municipality of La Salvetat-Saint-Gilles found itself managing the first cases of dengue fever indigenous to the history of Haute-Garonne. At least two people have been infected.

Originally, a subject who caught the virus during a trip abroad. On his return to Haute-Garonne, he was bitten by a tiger mosquito. The latter was contaminated, then transmitted dengue fever to a resident who had not traveled abroad in recent weeks.

139 cases imported since 1er may

Unfortunately, Haute-Garonne is not the only department to see dengue fever appear. Monday, September 12, in a note addressed to all doctors in Occitania, the General Directorate of Health (DGS) announces that, since July, five episodes of autochthonous dengue transmission have been identified in the departments of Haute-Garonne, Eastern Pyreneesof the Hautes-Pyreneesbut also Alpes-Maritimes and Var.

“From May 1 to September 2, 2022, Public Health France counted 139 imported cases of dengue fever. Since the disease is often asymptomatic (75%), the total number of imported cases can be estimated at double. Since the start of the season, there have been detected 26 autochthonous cases, corresponding to five episodes of transmission including three major outbreaks in the PACA and Occitanie regions.

General Directorate of Health

Several factors could lead to this increased risk in mainland France: “the extension over the territory and the high densities of the mosquito vector Aedes albopictus (the tiger mosquito, already established in 67 departments, editor’s note), the resumption of travel and the return of travelers from endemic areas and the current climatic conditions favorable to the multiplication of mosquitoes with heat and rain”, lists the Directorate General of Health.

The DGS expects new cases in the coming weeks

In this context, the DGS considers that the appearance of new cases of dengue fever in mainland France is “probable” in the coming weeks.

“Its period of activity (that of the tiger mosquito, editor’s note) coincides with summer movements, and the risk of seeing local circulation of the dengue virus appear from an imported case is maximum from May to November. For this reason the tiger mosquito, also a vector of chikungunya and zika, is the subject of heightened surveillance during this period.

General Directorate of Health

So how to avoid it? “The prevention of dengue is based above all on vector control actions, at the individual and collective levels. Patients must absolutely isolate themselves from mosquitoes during their viraemia phase, which lasts about ten days. »

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To avoid bites, the General Directorate of Health advises to “wear covering and loose clothing, to use a skin repellent, to set up mosquito nets on the openings (doors and windows) and to use electric diffusers at inside the houses”.

Dengue fever symptoms

The most common symptoms of dengue fever are fever and joint pain. There may also be digestive signs and an skin rash (appearance of red patches). The acute phase lasts about a week and severe forms are rare.

Nevertheless, “a critical phase can occur between the 4e and the 6e day approximately; the warning signs are a fever above 39°C after the 5the day, significant abdominal pain with or without diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting, restlessness or drowsiness, edema of haemorrhagic signs”, warns the DGS.

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