Formerly limited to Franche-Comté, alveolar echinococcus, a parasitic disease caused by the tapeworm, is now included in all regions of France. In Cappelle-en-Pévèle, in the north, residents warn about the dangers of the under-diagnosed disease.
France is increasingly threatened by alveolar echinococci. If the name does not appeal to you, let's talk about the tapeworm: more familiar with our language, this worm is stuck in the liver and causes illness and death. Hikers, hunters, gardeners, children playing in sandboxes or lawns that have been polluted by foxes, echinococcosis is waiting for everyone. Formerly limited to the Franche-Comté, with the increase in the population of foxes, the tapeworm expands and is now registered in all regions of France.
We are in Cappelle-en-Pévèle, in the Hauts-de-France, in the garden of Jean-Jacques De Keyser. He points to the orchard that borders his fence. "There's a hole, there … We've even seen a few fox cubs!" To pick raspberries, currants and blackcurrants from the garden. Jean-Jacques de Keyser has drawn up strict rules with his children: "It is me who reaps the benefits, and in height they are sensitive to the subject and I ask them not to find fruit that is found on the ground."
The first cases appeared three years ago in the Hauts-de-France. Originally polluted field mice, then eaten by foxes. "The fox catches a worm called the tapewormexplains Philippe Wartelle, chairman of the association of support and defense of people infected with alveolar echinococcosis. A spoiled fox loses about two hundred eggs every ten days. & # 39;
These eggs infect the man when he puts his hands in his mouth … It is actually the disease of the dirty hands!on franceinfo
Microscopic eggs in manure, in fox hair, put in the mouth and after 5 to 10 years in the human body affect the liver. "If you are not diagnosed on time, you will aggravate the disease and die.", warns Frédéric Musy, vice-chairman of the support association for infected people. From 40 cases a year in France a few years ago, mostly limited to Franche-Comté, we have risen to 70 cases.
Echinococcosis spreads in all regions of France and is diagnosed, warns Philippe Wartelle. The disease is indeed very little known to doctors and is often confused with liver cancer or cirrhosis. "Take the example of a pregnant woman who will perform her ultrasound and accuse her doctor of drinkingexplains Philippe Wartelle. She did not drink, but her doctor did not want to believe her. She had been treated as an alcoholic while she had echinococcosis. & # 39; The instructions are easy to guard against echinococcosis: never touch fox with bare hands, always go hand washing after going out, wash well and cook food such as mushrooms or vegetables.
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