Call for vigilance regarding tiger mosquito
The Aedes albopictus mosquito, commonly known as the tiger mosquito, arrived in Menton in 2004 and has since irreversibly colonised the Alpes Maritimes region and the Principality of Monaco. The mosquito is capable of transmitting viral infections such as chikungunya, dengue and zika.
How to recognise a tiger mosquito
The tiger mosquito is less than a centimetre long and easily recognisable by the black and white stripes on its body and legs, and its completely black wings.
The following recommendations should be followed in order to prevent an epidemic of chikungunya, dengue and zika as a result of an imported case (when a person who has been in an endemic area returns with the infection):
- Eradicating mosquitos from public spaces and building sites
- Reducing the number of mosquitos by eliminating bodies of stagnant water on terraces and in gardens (small cups, pots, vases, drains, etc.)
- Repelling mosquitos using suitable sprays for the skin (adapted to repel the Aedes albopictus) or mosquito diffusers and coils (since the tiger mosquito is active during the daytime, it is important to protect yourself throughout the day, too)
- Using mosquito nets on windows and beds
- Identifying imported cases of chikungunya, dengue and zika at an early stage so that public health measures can be implemented immediately
None of these diseases are directly transmissible between humans, but if a mosquito bites an infected person, it can suck up the virus and transfer it to a healthy person via a new bite.
Chikungunya or dengue infection is suspected if the patient develops a sudden fever above 38.5°C and at least one of the following symptoms: headache, joint pain, muscle pain, lumbago or pain behind the eyes. Zika infection is suspected if a rash appears on the skin (with or without a fever) and at least two of the following symptoms are present: red eyes, joint pain, muscle pain.
A blood test is used to confirm the diagnosis.
What to do if you suspect one of these disease
If you suspect one of these diseases, while awaiting an emergency appointment with your doctor or the Princess Grace Hospital Emergency Unit, it is strongly recommended that the patient and those close to them use a repellent that is effective against Aedes albopictus.