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Dengue in Mainland France (St Laurent-du-Var)

10 Oct 2018

According to French authorities Link (in French) on 9 October 2018, a case of locally-acquired dengue has been identified in a patient living in St Laurent-du-Var, immediately to the west of Nice. The patient became unwell on 21 September and had not travelled outside the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in the previous 15 days.

St Laurent-du-Var is a residential area on the coast, popular with tourists. Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito that transmits dengue virus, is common in the area.

Advice for Travellers

All travellers to regions where dengue occurs are potentially at risk of dengue fever and should be aware of this infection. Prevention relies on avoiding mosquito bites.

Aedes mosquitoes are particularly persistent and aggressive and bite between dawn and dusk.

Methods of bite avoidance include:

• Wearing long, loose, lightly coloured clothing to cover up the skin during the day.

• The use of insect repellent containing DEET applied to any exposed skin between dawn and dusk.

• When sunscreen and DEET are used together, DEET should be applied after sunscreen. The effectiveness of repellent reduces more rapidly than sunscreen, therefore, repellent may have to be reapplied on top of sunscreen.

• The use of permethrin, impregnated mosquito nets protects against early morning bites and should also be used when sleeping during the day.

• The use of air conditioning if available and/or mesh screening of windows and doors.

• Eradication of mosquito breeding sites around accommodation/home (e.g. open containers, old tyres or flower pots that may collect water).

Vaccine

There is no vaccine against dengue fever licensed in the UK.

At present the World Health Organisation (WHO) is trialling several candidate vaccines against dengue fever.

For further information see Dengue Fever.