Since June 20, the photo of an insect bite on a red and swollen knee has been widely shared on social networks. According to related legend, it is the leg of a named Deanna, who was bitten the day before by a new type of mosquito and could have died from a serious infection. The photo actually dates from 2017 and no fatal risk was mentioned at the time.
Circulating on Facebook for a fortnight with the same caption, this photo has been shared several thousand times in numerous publications , up to 500,000 times in this one . On his knee, we can see an area with inflammation, circled in black felt. It’s always the same story: a young girl, Deanna, was allegedly taken to the emergency room the day after a “new kind of mosquito bite”, which allegedly caused her a serious infection.
One detail is particularly striking, and explains the virality of the photo: “If they had waited a little longer, the affection would have reached his blood and caused his death…” (sic). Phrases like “Take 3 seconds to share, you can save a life …” or “Urgent, to circulate” accompany the text.
A story from 2017, in the United States, not in France
But contrary to what the shares and comments suggest, this photo is not recent, as the 20 Minutes fact-checking team explains . After a quick reverse image search (you can find the explanation here), we come across a Facebook post in English as well as an article published in the United States in 2017, with the photo of the leg, and telling the same history than French publications.
A search on Facebook leads to the first release of this photo: On March 16, 2017, Sonia Giudenian , an American mother, wanted to warn her relatives in a post on the social network after what had happened to her daughter as a result of ‘a mosquito bite. She tells in English the same story as that of French publications, with one detail: at no time does she speak of a fatal risk if her daughter’s infection had passed into her blood.
In English, she explains: “So I took her to the emergency room where we found out that there was a new type of mosquito bite that is causing an infection. If we had waited any longer it would have been in her blood. . “
The publication Sonia Giudenian it four years ago, less sensational than his recent French echoes, was shared more than three million times. She aimed to alert her friends and other mothers to what had happened to her, so that in the future, mosquito bites that became “swollen or red” were not taken lightly and ignored. In the comments, we can read that her daughter, on antibiotics for ten days after going to the emergency room, is “doing well”.
“There is currently no new infectious agent which threatens France or Europe and which could be fatal”
To find out more, we showed these Facebook posts and the accompanying photo to Professor Olivier Bouchaud, head of the infectious diseases department at the Avicenne hospital in Bobigny. According to him, to date there are no new mosquitoes or insects in France, nor new bites, nor any new infectious agent transmitting a new disease.