MOSQUITO victims could get some warning of when to stock up on anti-mossie cream in a new website alert system.
The site, which aims to give a department by department warning of where there is heavy mosquito infestation, uses daily updates from 2,000 pharmacies across the country who report on customers with bites.
As the summer starts to heat up across most of the country, just one department is on red alert: Aube, where pharmacies report the department has been invaded by the anopheles mosquito but also by the tiger mosquito. The reason has been the unusually wet spring, with water being the favoured mosquito breeding ground.
So far, the site reports no danger of malaria from the anopheles mosquito – and, to date, there has been no reported infection in mainland France from the dengue fever and chikungunya fever that the tiger mosquito is known to pass on.
Individuals can also send in bite reports to the site and there are reports of mosquito activity from around 20 departments and favourable conditions for mosquitos in about three dozen others.
So far, there is particular concern in areas that suffered from heavy rainfall over the past few weeks, especially in the south-west - Gers, Landes, Pyrénées Atlantique, Lot-et-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Haute-Garonne and Hautes-Pyrénées; and in the north-east - Marne, Haute Marne, Meurthe et Moselle, Yonne and Bas-Rhin. The Aube is also at risk.
The site gives information (in French) on what to do to sooth a bite and what measures to take to prevent mosquitos breeding – notably to avoid leaving standing water in old tyres or other locations.
Get more information from the website vigilance-moustiques.com