First dengue fever case hits France

Nice residents urged to take precautions against mosquitoes as first non-imported case of tropical disease reported

13 September 2010

RESIDENTS on the French Riviera have been encouraged to take extra precautions against mosquitoes, after the first non-imported case of dengue fever was reported in France.

A man in Nice has become the first person in mainland France to contract the tropical disease. The health ministry said this was an “isolated case” and the patient had made a full recovery.

Dengue fever is passed among humans by female tiger mosquitoes.

Flu-like symptoms generally appear between five and seven days after being bitten. They include temperatures of more than 38.5°C, headaches, muscle pain and tiredness.

In less than one per cent of cases, the infection can cause internal bleeding and lead to death.

About 800 cases have been reported in France so far this year, but until now they have all involved people who caught the illness abroad and brought it back with them.

Local authorities in Nice have reinforced their mosquito control measures.

The city is urging residents to eliminate any stagnant water around their property, where the mosquitoes like to lay their eggs, and to use nets and anti-mosquito plug-ins.

Several French overseas territories have been hit by a dengue epidemic in recent months. There were 1,300 new cases in Guadeloupe last week and 2,540 in Martinique.

Related story:
Tiger mosquito disease concerns

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