57 French departments on tiger mosquito red alert
Vigilance Moustiques publishes map of France showing where disease-carrying insects are most prevalent
More than half of France is now on red warning for tiger mosquitos, after six new departments were added this year to the highest alert.
A total 57 of France's 101 departments have a red warning for the insects, which can transmit diseases including dengue fever, zika and chikungunya. A further 10 have an orange warning issued by Vigilance-Moustiques at the start of the pest's 'active period', between May and November.
The departments now on red warnings are: Charente, Cher, Loire Atlantique, Yvelines, Deux Sèvres, Vienne, Charente-Maritime, Côte d’Or, Loire, Nièvre, Puy-de-Dôme, Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Essonne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Hauts de Seine, Aisne, Hautes Alpes, Hautes Pyrénées, Ariège, Lozère, Indre, Maine et Loire, Corrèze, Val-de-Marne, Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Vendée, Saône-et-Loire, Rhône, Ain, Isère, Savoie, Alpes Hautes Provence, Var, Alpes Maritimes, Haute Corse, Corse du Sud, Drôme, Vaucluse, Bouches du Rhône, Ardèche, Gard, Hérault, Aveyron, Tarn, Aude, Pyrénées Orientales, Haute Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot, Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Gers, Gironde, Landes and Pyrénées Atlantiques.
Tiger mosquitoes are not new to France. They were first spotted in the early years of the new millennium. The insect reached Paris in 2014, but is most commonly spotted in the southern half of the country.
Since 2010, there have been at least 50 reported cases of dengue fever and chikungunya in people who have visited countries where those illnesses are prevalent. It is thought they caught the illness from tiger mosquito bites.
Experts believe the insects will be installed across the whole of France by 2030.