The tiger mosquito is a tropical mosquito that can transmit chikungunya, but also dengue and Zika virus and is spreading across France. Here’s how to recognize this disturbing mosquito and avoid its dangerous bites.
From its scientific name Aedes albopictus, the tiger mosquito is a tropical mosquito that can transmit chikungunya, but also dengue and Zika virus. Coming from Southeast Asia, it is a particularly invasive species since in 20 years it has spread over five continents. Here’s how to recognize this disturbing mosquito and avoid its dangerous bites.
The tiger mosquito does not look like other mosquitoes. To recognize it, here’s what you need to know:
– It is very small : between 5 and 8 millimeters. It is usually smaller than the common mosquito.
– He is black with white stripes on the legs and the abdomen (hence his qualification “tiger”)
– It develops in an urban environment and can bite in a few tens of meters around its place of birth.
– It stings the day (it’s a diurnal mosquito ), especially in the morning and at dusk.
– He is attracted by the smell of carbon dioxide (emitted during breathing, especially pregnant women and obese people).
– He is attracted to dark colours
– It is the females that bite humans to drink their blood and then lay more eggs (up to 300) in stagnant water.
> If you think you have observed a tiger mosquito, report it!
In which places does the tiger mosquito multiply?
The tiger mosquito is very present in urban areas. The female lays on solid supports but always just above stagnant water . The insect favours for the development of its larvae shelters created by humans: vases, saucers of flowerpots, gutters, empty boxes or empty containers.
It is essential to eliminate and empty this type of receptacles if there are around your place of life to eliminate any risk of spawning and proliferation. Ideally, do not leave any vegetable waste lying on the ground. Once installed in your garden, it will be very difficult to get rid of it.
In 2018, this formidable insect was present in 42 departments in mainland France. A number that has doubled since 2016. In 2019, it is now found in 51 departments.
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On Wednesday, June 25, 2019, the Regional Health Agency (ARS) Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur announced 18 confirmed cases of dengue fever and a suspected case of chikungunya in the PACA region.
The ARS is reassuring. According to her, the diagnosed cases were not contaminated in mainland France. In short: they have reported the virus by plane from Reunion Island where an epidemic is taking place at the moment.
Note all the same: the tiger mosquito native to Asia is particularly fond of hot weather so scorching periods. In this splendid period for the insect, the risk would be that one of the patients are bitten by a mosquito title. The latter could then once become infected with viruses, contaminate healthy people. We would then speak of ” indigenous ” cases.
What are the diseases transmitted by the tiger mosquito?
The tiger mosquito is best known for transmitting these serious diseases: dengue and chikungunya. But it can also transmit Zika virus and West Nile Virus or West Nile virus . It can also transmit yellow fever and malaria.
In all, it is capable of contaminating you with about twenty viruses.
What to do in case of tiger mosquito bite?
- Do not panic especially, the sting is usually of no immediate consequence.
- If you have seen the mosquito bite you, check on the Internet that this is a tiger mosquito.
- If in doubt consult your doctor without delay.
Dengue, chikungunya: what are the symptoms?
- High fever.
- Disabling joint pain.
- Sometimes: muscle pain, nausea and vomiting.
Is an epidemic of dengue or chikungunya possible in Metropolitan France?
Today, there is no epidemic of chikungunya, dengue or Zika in metropolitan France. However, an Aedes type mosquito called a tiger mosquito, which can carry these viruses is present in certain regions of France.