On cannot speak of a dengue epidemic if we refer to the population, but rather of a cluster” reacts Professor Michel Carles, head of the infectious and tropical diseases department at the Nice University Hospital, faced with the multiplication, since August 23, of indigenous cases of dengue fever. This mostly mild tropical disease, caused by the bite of a tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) infected with the virus. We speak of an indigenous case when a person has contracted the disease on national territory and has not traveled to a contaminated area.
“The cluster is still not shut down”
A first case had been reported south of the town of Saint-Jeannet. In three weeks, 21 new cases were detected in this sector, ie 14 in Saint-Jeannet, 6 in Gattières and one in La Gaude.
“As of today, the cluster is still not turned off”warns the departmental delegate of the regional health agency (ARS) Paca, Romain Alexandre, during a press conference this Wednesday.
The authorities recall the importance of preventive measures such as protecting yourself from mosquito bites, eliminating anything that may contain stagnant water conducive to the hatching of larvae and quickly consult a doctor in the event of the onset of fever, pain muscles, tiredness.
“These are flu-like symptoms common to several other illnesses. We need this alert from the ARS so that practitioners think about this diagnosis and refer patients to medical analysis laboratories” insists Professor Carles.
A critically ill hospitalized patient
Because if mortality is low (0.1% of cases) and the critical phase rare, they can nevertheless have worrying consequences on health, in their most serious forms. “A patient was hospitalized this summer in Nice in a hemorrhagic form with a state of confusion and an epileptic seizure”informs Professor Carles, who concludes: “With global warming, we will be more and more confronted with this problem”.