Some 46 cases of dengue fever were diagnosed in mainland France in May this year, new figures from the country’s health authority show.
All were ‘imported’ cases (as opposed to those caused by mosquitoes from France). The figures from Santé publique France also showed one imported case of chikungunya – another mosquito-borne infection – between May 1 and 26.
France faces a rise in mosquito-borne viral diseases in the coming years so the health authority is coordinating enhanced seasonal surveillance of cases between May 1 and November 30 when the risk is highest.
Last summer France reported 65 cases of indigenous dengue fever. The spread of the tiger mosquito, which can transmit the disease, continues to alarm authorities with the mosquito now present in ten times as many departments as in 2010.
The authority says outbreaks are likely to recur, increase in size and affect new areas due to weather extremes, urbanisation and more travel.
Data showing the number of tick bites in different regions of France has been published at tinyurl.com/tick-bite. It is part of research to better understand ticks’ behaviour and the diseases they carry. People can report bites both to themselves and their pets.