France reports first ever native case of dengue fever

The first ever known case of native dengue fever in France has been confirmed in the region of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

Published Last updated

Authorities in the region, and health agency l’Agence Régionale de Santé (ARS) Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes reported the case on Monday September 23.

The patient is a resident of Caluire-et-Cuire, in the Rhône department, and is said to have become infected without having travelled abroad recently.

The patient has now returned to full health, but an investigation has been launched by health authority Santé Publique France into the possible risk of further cases in the region.

Residents in the area can expect to receive information and further details by post.

The first native case

Cases of dengue fever have previously been reported in France, including in the departments of Isère, the Drôme and the Rhône, but this case is the first known native infection - meaning that it originated in France alone and was not picked up abroad.

Dengue fever is a severe, viral illness transmitted by infected mosquitoes, and can be life-threatening. It causes symptoms such as high fever and joint pain, as well as headaches, eye socket pain, nausea, vomiting, and a rash.

It is usually seen and contracted in Asia, the Americas or the Caribbean, and can develop suddenly between five to eight days after infection. There is no vaccination for dengue, and prevention of mosquito bites is the best way to avoid it.

It cannot be passed from person to person except through mosquito bites. Any local cases of dengue in France must be reported to the relevant health authorities, who can then enact “de-mosquito” measures against its vector.

Recent cases in France were reported in the departments of Isère, the Drôme and the Rhône. These were followed by widespread spraying of insecticide, especially in Villeurbanne, after a resident contracted the illness while travelling in Southeast Asia.

Earlier in the summer, a district of Grenoble (Isère) and the town of Etoile-sur-Rhône (Drôme) received the same treatment. Residents had contracted dengue following trips to French Polynesia and Réunion respectively.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France