Tiger mosquitoes in 40 departments

Alert reaches as far north as Paris suburbs, as authorities try to limit spread of creature linked to tropical diseases

DOCTORS in France have dealt with 32 confirmed cases of tropical diseases linked to tiger mosquitoes this summer, with 40 departments currently on alert for the creature.

French health watchdog L'Institut de Veille Sanitaire says patients reported 248 suspected cases of dengue fever and chikungunya since the beginning of May, of which 25 dengue cases and seven chikungunya outbreaks needed treatment.

However they were all found to be linked to patients who recently travelled to a high-risk country - none of the outbreaks this year can be described as "native" and the number of confirmed cases is down nearly 80% on this time last year.

Nearly half of the incidents were in the Paca region, followed by the Languedoc-Roussillon, Rhône-Alpes and Aquitaine - but tiger mosquitoes are continuing their spread across France, with even Paris and its suburbs on alert.

Originally from Asia, the creature arrived in the south of France in 2012. Research site Vigilance Moustiques says 20 departments are on "red alert" with the biggest tiger mosquito population - mostly along the Mediterranean, the Rhône valley and parts of the Atlantic coast.

Another 21 departments are on "orange alert", meaning there have been occasional cases reported but the population is not yet sizeable and active. These include the Paris suburbs, Alsace, Burgundy, Limousin and the Loire estuary.

Read more: What you can do about mosquitoes