panic after cases of dengue fever in Bordeaux, what happened?

An “autochthonous case” means that the person was infected in our country by a tiger mosquito carrying the dengue virus and therefore that there is probably a perennial chain of transmission. Hence the concern. With the sending of the mail on August 22, the authorities launched an investigation around the patients concerned, and launched mosquito control operations. Thus, on the night of August 22, in the neighborhoods of the Robert-Picqué hospital in Villenave-d’Ornon and Félix Nadar in Mérignac, a mosquito control operation took place. A second was held in central Bordeaux, then in the Benauge district. The inhabitants of these areas were all warned by a flyer posted in their mailbox, summoning them to close doors and shutters and to stay inside from 10 p.m.

Communication error

Sylvie Justome, deputy mayor for health of the City of Bordeaux, specifies that these mosquito control operations are frequent in summer: “We are informed by the ARS of the presence of a case of infection, most of the time this are imported cases and, therefore, we contact the Altopictus company and inform us of the citizens concerned. This summer, operations took place in Nansouty and at the Pellegrin hospital – necessarily, since the infected people are hospitalized there – and therefore, on August 26, in the inner city for the first time and at Benauge. In this case, these were imported cases, people returning from Cuba. I noticed the wave of panic among the doctors and among the inhabitants, following this letter from the Council of the Order. But according to my information, there has never been an indigenous case in Bordeaux. »

What happened ? The Gironde Order of Physicians, which we contacted, refused to testify about this alert letter sent to their colleagues. And for good reason. It was the Regional Health Agency, which initially sent an official letter to doctors and the Order on August 22, assuring the presence of an indigenous case. Letter that we obtained and which stipulates: “As part of the investigation of an indigenous case, you are asked to report all suspected cases of dengue fever imported and indigenous, residing or having frequented the Bordeaux metropolis, who have come to you consult or who will come to consult you. »


In the laboratory of the mosquito control center of Bordeaux Métropole, specialized in the fight against mosquitoes and which intervenes in public spaces.

Thierry David / “SOUTH WEST”

An infected man in Haute-Garonne

Sylvie Quelet, director of public health at ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine admits that there has been a hiccup in communication on this file. “Indeed, this letter spoke of an Aboriginal case, which generated a lot of concern and the letter from the Order, also alarmist, she admits. In fact, he is native, but in Haute-Garonne, not here. This is a man who was allegedly infected by a neighbor who was returning from Reunion, and who went to Bordeaux when he did not yet have a fever. He went to the Robert-Picqué hospital, where he says he was bitten again, then to Mérignac in the Félix Nadar district. This man, whose state of health does not inspire any concern, has been taken care of. The investigation into his case was carried out in due form, followed by mosquito control operations. The prefecture and town halls have been notified. »

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