An unusual number of dengue fever cases reported in mainland France

Some 26 cases of autochthonous dengue fever have been reported in mainland France since the start of the year, a level higher than in previous years, health authorities announced on Wednesday.

They have been identified in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Occitanie regions, said the Directorate General of Health (DGS).

These cases of “indigenous” dengue occurred in people who had not traveled to the usual area where the virus circulates, overseas or abroad, in the 15 days preceding the onset of symptoms.

Only about ten cases per year

Since 2010, the French public health agency has recorded barely more than ten indigenous cases in its heaviest annual reports.

Dengue fever is an infectious disease that is transmitted from person to person through the bite of an infected tiger mosquito. The virus circulates regularly in the French departments of the Antilles, as well as in the French islands of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

In mainland France, the Aedes albopictus mosquito or tiger mosquito, a potential vector of dengue fever, is currently permanently established in 67 departments, recalls the DGS.

In 2020, the health authorities had identified 14 cases of autochthonous dengue and in 2021, two cases.

Fever, headache, body aches

Symptoms are most often flu-like (fever, headache, body aches) and appear within 3 to 14 days after the mosquito bite. Most often benign, dengue can however be complicated by hemorrhagic forms. Treatment is symptomatic, including pain and fever.

“The prevention of bites and the fight against the proliferation of mosquitoes are essential to limit the occurrence of epidemic foci”, insists the Ministry of Health.

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