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First native cases of chikungunya

Two girls in Fréjus have caught the illness without visiting the tropics: a first for mainland France

A PERSON has fallen ill with the disease chikungunya in France for the second time, after the first-ever case was identified a few days ago.

The disease, which is common in tropical Africa and Asia, is spread by the tiger mosquito, which first appeared in the south of France in 2004. It causes several days of fever, which are followed by a period of joint pain that may last weeks or months.

Two cases of the illness have now been identified in young girls in Fréjus, in the Var: one was announced on Friday and one yesterday.

The cases have both been described as “native” outbreaks of the disease, since neither child has recently visited parts of the world where the disease is prevalent. They are the first to be identified in mainland France, though there have been several “imported” cases in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region previously. It is thought the children were bitten by a mosquito that had previously bitten an imported disease sufferer.

The cases follow two cases of dengue fever in the region earlier this month, a disease similar to chikungunya, spread by the same insect.

The Paca prefecture has said there is no cause for alarm, but that it is following the situation carefully. Doctors in the area have been asked to be vigilant and an anti-mosquito programme is under way.

Related stories:

First dengue fever case hits France

'Tiger mosquito' disease concerns

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