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Tropical disease in the south of France
Seventeen people in the French Riviera are suffering from mosquito-borne tropical diseases. Many of these people were travelling in the Caribbean and in Brazil, where they are believed to have contracted the diseases, before returning to France.
According to health authorities in Nice-Matin in the French Riviera, four people contracted dengue fever, eleven have chikungunya, and two people suffer from both diseases. These diseases are both transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) that is found in France.
Health authorities are working to avoid the transmission of the diseases to family members or neighbours of the patients. Through the use of mosquito control insecticides that clear a radius of 500 meter around the home of a patient, they hope to contain the disease.
Asian tiger mosquitoes first arrived in the country in 2004 after crossing the Italian border. Since then, they are found throughout the Mediterranean Basin and towards the Rhône valley.
During the summer season last year, fifteen cases of dengue fever and chikungunya were reported in the French Riviera. While the summer of 2014 is far from over, this figure has already been exceeded.
But Asian tiger mosquitoes are less numerous this year. Unfavourable weather conditions, prevention efforts and public awareness have helped to lower their numbers.