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HEALTH

MAP: More than half of French départements on red warning for tiger mosquitoes

They obviously didn't get the memo about travel bans - Asian tiger mosquitoes are back and this year more than half the country is covered by red warnings.

MAP: More than half of French départements on red warning for tiger mosquitoes
Photo: AFP

This year 57 of France's 101 départements have been given a red warning about the potentially deadly insects.

A further 10 départements have an orange warning from the wildlife group Vigilance-Moustiques.

The black and white striped mosquito, which can deliver a painful bite as well as potentially deadly tropical diseases including dengue fever, zika and chikungunya, was first spotted in France in the last decade and made it to Paris in 2014.

Map: Vigilance Moustique

Since then it has been expanding the territory it is spotted in over the summer as global temperatures rise, although it is still most commonly seen in the southern half of the country.

Since 2010, there have been at least 50 reported cases of dengue fever and chikungunya in people who have not been to countries where those illnesses are prevalent, thought to have been spread by tiger mosquitoes in France.

Experts have previously said they think that France will be fully colonised by 2030.

In even worse news, it seems that mosquito traps and repellents being tested by local authorities are not very effective.

Sleeping under a mosquito net will protect you at night, but unlike European mosquitoes, tiger mosquitoes come out during the day as well as at night.

The best advice that experts can offer is to make sure there is no standing water near your home, as this is where mosquitoes breed.

Researchers are currently looking into other methods of control such as sterilising female mosquitoes.

Although dengue fever, zika and chikungunya can prove fatal, they are rarely so with good medical treatment.

Départements in red are:

Charente, Cher, Loire Atlantique, Yvelines, Deux Sèvres, Vienne, Charente-Maritime, Côte d’Or, Loire, Nièvre, Puy-de-Dôme, Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Essonne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Hauts de Seine, Aisne, Hautes Alpes, Hautes Pyrénées, Ariège, Lozère, Indre, Maine et Loire, Corrèze, Val-de-Marne, Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Vendée, Saône-et-Loire, Rhône, Ain, Isère, Savoie, Alpes hautes Provence, Var, Alpes Maritimes, Haute Corse, Corse du Sud, Drôme, Vaucluse, Bouches du Rhône, Ardèche, Gard, Hérault, Aveyron, Tarn, Aude, Pyrénées Orientales, Haute Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot, Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Gers, Gironde, Landes and Pyrénées Atlantiques.

Member comments

  1. Why is it that there are no window screens in Europe? That would be a useful guard against not only the mosquitoes but also the flies that get in and circle endlessly in the middle of the room when one opens any window to enjoy the fresh air.

  2. Hi Ariel. Window screens are available ‘Moustiquaires’ I think they’re called. But the DIY ones are not easy to fit well; and not as good as the ones in southern USA states.
    Has anyone had a BioBelt system installed? We have friends who say that it works to protect their garden, terrace and pool? But it is very expensive. Nothing worked last summer to keep our terrace and garden tiger mosquito free.

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HEALTH

France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25

Free birth control for all women under 25 will be available in France from Saturday, expanding a scheme targeting under-18s to ensure young women don't stop taking contraception because they cannot afford it.

France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25
A doctor holds an interuterine contraceptive device (IUD) before inserting it in a patient. Photo: Adek Berry/AFP

The scheme, which could benefit three million women, covers the pill, IUDs, contraceptive patches and other methods composed of steroid hormones. Contraception for minors was already free in France.

Several European countries, including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, make contraception free for teens. Britain makes several forms of contraception free to all.

France announced the extension to women under 25 in September, saying surveys showed a decline in the use of contraception mainly for financial reasons.

The move is part of a series of measures taken by President Emmanuel Macron’s government to boost women’s rights and alleviate youth poverty. The free provision is supported by women’s groups including the association En Avant Tous.

“Between 18 and 25-years-old, women are very vulnerable because they lose a lot of rights compared to when they were minors and are very precarious economically,” spokeswoman Louise Delavier told AFP.

Leslie Fonquerne, an expert in gender issues, said there was more to be done.

“This measure in no way resolves the imbalance in the contraceptive burden between women and men,” the sociologist said.

In some developed countries, the free contraception won by women after decades of campaigning is coming under attack again from the religious right.

In the United States, former president Barack Obama’s signature health reform, known as Obamacare, gave most people with health insurance free access to birth control.

But his successor Donald Trump scrapped the measure, allowing employers to opt out of providing contraception coverage on religious grounds — a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2020.

Poland’s conservative government has also heavily restricted access to emergency contraception as part of its war on birth control.

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