Monday, June 17, 2024

Morocco.. worries about “French bug” and experts explain risks


The Ministry of Health has announced the implementation of a health surveillance system at border gates to counter the possibility of entry and spread of the insecticide-resistant insect into the kingdom.

The move comes after reports of suspected bed bugs in the cockpit of a ship arriving from the port of Marseille in France to the port of Tangier (northern Morocco) on the second of this month.

Bed bugs are small, brown insects that can travel through a variety of ways, including clothing and travel bags, infesting bedding in homes and public places. The bed bug feeds on human blood, causing severe itching and sleep disturbances.

Health alert system

Although the Ministry of Health confirmed that there were no insects, including bedbugs, on board the ship from France to Tangier, Moroccan authorities continued to intensify surveillance and raise the level of surveillance at border crossings.

The Ministry explained in a statement that Border Health Control Services at sea, air and land crossings conduct careful and comprehensive inspections of all modes of transport entering or exiting the border crossings.

The ministry added that this surveillance is carried out from time to time to comply with health control procedures at the borders and in accordance with international standards prescribed in the International Health Regulations.

Necessary actions

Many experts in the health sector noted the rapid correlation of the interests of the Ministry of Health with the fear of the possibility of the spread of insects entering the kingdom, by tightening surveillance at ports, airports and land borders to avoid the French situation.

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Al-Tayeb Hudi, a physician and researcher in health policies and systems, confirms that until effective and efficient insecticides are discovered, dealing with pests that have acquired resistance to modern insecticides will become more complicated.
In a statement to Sky News Arabia, Dr. Hamdi calls for the need:

  • Competent officers are keen to monitor hotels, disinfect public transport and public places to control and prevent the spread of this pest.
  • Try to remove it within the first four weeks of its appearance to control the condition.
  • Avoid buying used furniture that can harbor pests.
  • Identify ways to combat the spread of this pest and organize awareness-raising campaigns for citizens to report it when detected.

Prevention tips

Many dermatologists confirm that this insect, although not dangerous to health, can cause allergies and skin irritations and fatigue with sleep problems.

Lubna Mashbouh, a dermatologist, says that bed bug bites can cause skin redness and itching, and if the bite is allergic, it leads to irritation that requires the intervention of a specialist.

Mashbouh added in a statement to Sky News Arabia that there is a need to contain this pest and prevent its spread:

  • Make sure the beds in hotels are clean and free of this pest.
  • Disinfection of clothing and personal belongings is essential before returning from travel, especially in areas where the prevalence of this pest has been recorded.
  • Place infested clothes and linens in a plastic bag containing insecticides and place in direct sunlight for 48 hours, wash in hot water (48 degrees) and dry.
  • Clean the house or places where pests have been found using companies that work in the cleaning industry.
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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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