The Meeting will soon be faced with an epidemic of dengue fever? It had been over a year since this infectious disease caused by a virus circulated continuously on this French island in the Indian ocean
But, since the beginning of the year 2018, the spread of the virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, has intensified.
More than 110 cases have been registered between January and February, compared with 94 cases for the entire year 2017.
“The risk of an outbreak is now considered to be high,” notes the regional Agency of health (ARS) of the Indian ocean, which has raised its level of alert, on the 27th of February. For the moment, “impossible to predict” the evolution of the situation, according to Olivier Reilhes, assistant director of the sleep and health security to the ARS Indian ocean.
“We may as well face in the coming weeks, a major epidemic as to a stabilisation of the number of cases. Similarly, the virus may stop flow”, provided that the prevention is fully effective. No vaccine, no traitementÀ more than 10,000 kilometres, the South Pacific, the epidemic is well and truly declared in New Caledonia since February 22. “A situation all the more worrying as the current weather conditions – high temperatures and humidity are favourable for the development of mosquitoes”, complain to the local authorities. The Meeting and New Caledonia are in the middle of summer (with temperatures climbing to 30 degrees). Ideal conditions for mosquitoes tigers, which transmit the disease. ” READ ALSO – the Virus and the mosquito, a couple history dengue, asymptomatic in most cases, often goes unnoticed. When it manifests, it is by flu-like symptoms (fever, joint pain, etc).
But some people, often children, may develop haemorrhagic forms of the disease. . Approximately 2. .5 % of patients with these severe forms die from it. . Today there is no commercial vaccine or treatment for dengue fever. But it is possible to protect against mosquitoes, vectors of the virus. Then the fight against the disease organized in the two French islands. In New Caledonia, “every evening, from 17 hours, teams are to inform the residents around the homes of confirmed cases, distribute leaflets and repellents”, to ensure the local authorities. At The Meeting, teams are mobilized to destroy mosquito breeding grounds, that is to say, the containers around the homes where water can stagnate (saucer, tire, etc). “So far, the mobilization of the population is still on,” says Olivier Reilhes. “In a third of the 3,500 homes that we have visited since the beginning of the year 2018, the breeding grounds had not been destroyed. ” Worse, the population of the two islands is not immune to the virus that is rampant currently. Indeed, there is not one, but four dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4. And having met one of the virus, does not immunize against it.
. This year, either at The Meeting or in New Caledonia, this is the DEN-2 viruses circulating. The disease is rampant “in more than one hundred countries”Or “the last outbreak of this type of dengue fever in New Caledonia dates back to 1998,” said Jean-Paul Grangeon, deputy director of the Directorate of health and social affairs (DASS) in New Caledonia.
Similarly, at The Meeting, where the last major epidemic occurred between 1977 and 1978, the population there is “absolutely no immunity against the current virus,” says Olivier Reilhes.
Dengue has “grown dramatically around the world over the last few decades,” warns the world health Organization. Whereas before 1970, only nine countries had experienced severe dengue epidemics,” today the disease is constantly “in over one hundred countries” (in particular in South-East Asia and the western Pacific).
Why this explosion? First of all, because the men are moving more. While mosquitoes usually remain within a radius of a few hundred meters, the human can perform thousands of kilometres of being infected by the virus.
They are then hooked in another country by a new mosquito, which in turn becomes contagious. And “with the evolution of climatic conditions, mosquitoes are active for a greater part of the year on the territories in the tropics and subtropics and their range of movement increases,” says Stephen Simon-Loriere, group leader and researcher in virology at the Pasteur Institute. The first contamination in france took place in Nice in 2010. It was not an imported case.