Dengue fever cases: two extraordinary mosquito control operations ordered by the ARS

Two exceptional mosquito control campaigns took place earlier in the week following dengue cases. One in Blagnac near Toulouse and the other in Lormont near Bordeaux.

The procedure is relatively rare and non-trivial. After two diagnosed cases of dengue fever, a disease often transmitted by the titer mosquito, the regional health authorities of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitania have decided to carry out an exceptional mosquito control campaign in the two sectors affected. Only the ARS has the authority to make this type of decision, which is a public health issue.

A powerful insecticide

Thus, on Monday September 5 in Lormont, a town near Bordeaux, and on Tuesday September 6 in Blagnac near Toulouse, specialized companies intervened within a very precise radius of several streets, which previously varied according to where you live and patient trips have been defined. This is the spraying of a powerful insecticide, deltamethrin, the only one authorized in France for this action. “This treatment poses no danger to humans and warm-blooded animals. However, it is toxic to aquatic fauna. Hence the consultation with the fishermen. We cannot treat near wetlands or within 25 meters of a water point,” confided Jean-Sébastien Dehecq from the ARS of Occitania to our colleagues from France 3, who narrate the whole operation. If the product is not dangerous to humans and warm-blooded animals, it is not without an impact on biodiversity. The product is extremely toxic to fish and freshwater invertebrates.

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Many necessary precautions

The distribution areas are therefore particularly targeted in order to avoid contact with the surrounding fauna and flora as far as possible. These operations always take place at night and are the subject of intensive communication with the population in the affected sectors. Insecticides are typically sprayed from a vehicle, but handheld sprayers are also used in less accessible locations.

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For the operation to run smoothly, the residents must take various precautions, as the daily newspaper Sud-Ouest explains for the operation in Lormont: “Take laundry, groceries or toys outside, keep animals out of or in, cover swimming pools, ponds and sandpits, close windows overlooking public streets, keep treatment machines out”.

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Of course you are not allowed to stay outside and bring pets inside. Finally, after mosquito control, the authorities recommend rinsing the garden furniture and children’s games with clean water and waiting three days to eat the fruits and vegetables from the garden.

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