EDITING : 2024.4.22 월 18:51
The Gachon Herald
Bedbugs Invade FranceThe Bedbug Issue Faced by France
Park yeon seo  |  parkyeonseo03@naver.com
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Updated : 2024.04.19  16:07:06
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 Having sleepless nights due to the buzzing sound of mosquitoes is a common experience for many people. In a manner like this, people have begun experiencing sleep problems caused by concerns about bedbugs, a phenomenon widely known as "refractory delusional parasitosis." In France, this mental disorder is referred to as a national mental illness and this article will examine how this phenomenon has disseminated in France, while creating additional concern about the nation's hosting of upcoming Olympics.

 Numerous complaints arose recently about bedbug infestations in French railways, cinemas, libraries, and schools. In response, the French government countered, denying evidence of bedbug infestations in public transportation while reasserting its safety. People hesitated to visit public places, especially the Paris subway, and began walking short distances due to the fear of bedbugs. Seven schools closed their door, and hospital emergency room shut down. With citizens increasingly resorting to pest control companies and insecticides, the annual cost of bedbug extermination for all households in France reached 230 million euros (approximately 330 billion won), posing a significant economic burden.

 As the fear of bedbugs intensified, some citizens began experiencing 'refractory delusional parasitosis.' Media outlets labeled it as a national mental illness, prompting the French Prime Minister to convene a ministerial meeting to address it. The French government declared a state of emergency regarding bedbugs, establishing the Bedbug Extermination Operation Committee to formulate essential policies in response to the infestation. The government also publishes a list of trustworthy pest control companies and their addresses on its website, ensuring easy access to information for consumers. Additionally, a counseling service is available to assist citizens in resolving issues related to bedbugs promptly.
 As a matter of fact, despite the widespread urban myth about bedbug attacks, they generally don't lead to significant health issues, although they may cause discomfort and aversion. However, the rapid spread of misinformation through social media and the fading collective memory of bedbugs have heightened citizens' fears. In this regard, the BBC reported that the danger posed by bedbugs is more psychological than physical.
 With the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics, France is now deploying bedbug detection devices and even bedbug detection dogs to combat the infestation. For a successful and, most importantly, safe hosting of the Olympics, public organizations and Parisians are working together to solve this issue and respond to it clinically based on scientific facts. It is worth noting how France will benefit from these combined efforts to address the bedbug attack in the coming days.
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