The Usutu virus detected in France: should we be worried?

This virus, known since 2001, is transmitted by mosquitoes. It has already been detected twice in an autochthonous way in France. What there is to know.

On November 10, 2022, a case of infection with the Usutu virus was confirmed in the Landes department, in New Aquitaine. This is the first case of arbovirosis (virus transmitted by hematophagous insects – in other words, feeding on blood – such as mosquitoes) identified in this region. It is also only the second case of infection with the Usutu virus listed in France. After developing flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, body aches), the patient fully recovered from the infection.

Along with the chikungunya virus, the dengue virus, the Zika virus and the West Nile virus, Usutu is now one of the mosquito-borne viruses that have caused at least one autochthonous case in France – that is to say in a person not having traveled to a foreign country.

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If Usutu is not the most formidable of these viruses that the French must learn to deal with, it nevertheless deserves the attention of scientists and health authorities.

A virus already at the origin of an infection in 2016

A first case of infection with the Usutu virus in France had already been identified in 2016, but studies only revealed it two years later. On November 10, 2016, a 39-year-old man was hospitalized for three days in neurology at Montpellier University Hospital due to sudden paralysis of half his face. The patient has recovered all his faculties and […]

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