The mosquito Aedes albopictus, commonly called the tiger mosquito, arrived in 2004 in Menton and has since colonised the Alpes-Maritimes and the Principality. This mosquito can carry viral diseases such as Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika.
The tiger mosquito measures less than one centimetre and is easily recognisable by its black and white stripes on the body, its legs and its totally black wings. The tiger mosquito is active during the day.
None of the diseases that the insect may carry are transmitted directly from person to person. On the other hand, if the mosquito bites an infected person, it can suck the virus and transmit it to a healthy person with its bite.
Chikungunya or Dengue fever can be suspected in a person with a fever over 38.5 C and the sudden onset of at least one of the following: headache, arthralgia, myalgia, lumbago, or retro-orbital pain.
There is a suspicion of Zika virus disease in cases of a rash, with or without fever, and at least two of the following: conjunctival hyperemia, arthralgia, myalgia. A blood test can confirm the diagnosis.
Residents are advised to reduce the risk by implementing the standard safeguards against mosquitoes. Stagnant water should be removed, even from small pots and vases on balconies. The use of window nets is also advised. Anti-mosquito sprays can also be used.
In case of doubt regarding an infection, a regular doctor or the Emergency Department of the Princess Grace Hospital Centre should be consulted.