France panic: Urgent warning after mosquito infestation triggers spike in deadly diseases
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As France continues to fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the country is seeing wave of cases from other potentially fatal diseases. A warning of dengue, Chikungunya and Zika virus has been issued.
Public Health France have warned of the increase of tiger mosquitos who spread the deadly diseases across the country.
The warning comes after the insects were spotted in 58 metropolitan departments and in the overseas departments and regions.
According to the health body, the heat creates an increasingly favourable context for the establishment of the tiger mosquitos.
Today, temperatures across France reached more than 30C.
Tiger mosquitos are native to the tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia.
However, in the past few decades, this species has spread to many countries through the transport of goods and international travel.
The mosquitos can spread deadly diseases such as dengue fever, Chikungunya and Zika virus.
In 2019, more than 920 cases of dengue were identified in mainland France, 110 cases of Chikungunya and 17 of Zika.
This figure was twice as many compared to the year before and the tiger mosquito is the vest of these three diseases.
The majority of cases are said to be “imported” when someone travels abroad to Africa, Asia or Brazil.
However, there has been a number of reported “indigenous” cases when people have become infected despite not leaving their country.
These people are believed to have been infected by mosquitoes which had previously bitten sick people who returned from their trips abroad.
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There were several outbreaks of dengue in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region last year as well as the PACA region.
Outbreaks of Zika were reported in the Var department.
Cases for 2020 are not yet known but last week, three “indigenous” cases of dengue were identified in Nice and La Croix-Valmer in the Var department.
In the fight against COVID-19, France has seen more than 30,000 people die from the deadly disease with more than 300,000 people infected.
The country has been forced to introduce a nationwide mandatory face mask rule as cases of the novel virus continue to rise.
France is not the only country facing threats of COVID-19 and other deadly diseases transmitted by mosquitos.
Last month, Spain faced another threat after a new species of mosquito was discovered in the country.
It is believed the insect arrived in Spain through the trading of used tyres which come from these countries.
But the Association of Pest Control Companies of Catalonia (ADEPAP) warned the new species has already been spotted in northern Spain.
There were reports of the bug in Asturias and Cantabria but ADEPAP warned it was not ruled out to be in Galicia and areas of Catalonia.
This species can carry infectious viruses such as dengue, Chikungunya and the West Nile virus.
These bugs reportedly can survive in cold climates and can easily establish itself in livestock spaces.
Eggs are even known to resist frost but it cannot withstand temperatures of more than 30C.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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