Chikungunya cases reported in France

Local transmission of chikungunya has been confirmed in south-eastern France, with four cases diagnosed in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region as of 23 August 2017.  In addition, there is one probable case, and eight suspected cases.

While these are not the first reported cases of chikungunya in France, chikungunya is an emerging disease in southern Europe and an outbreak is considered unexpected. The vector, the Aedes albopictus mosquito, is establishing itself in large part of the Mediterranean basin and beyond.

Public health response

French national authorities are taking actions according to the national response plan. Actions include:

  • Vector control measures around the dwellings and working locations of the patients;
  • Blood testing of any suspected case;
  • Risk communication as coordinated by the regional health agency.

WHO has assessed this outbreak as a potential risk for international spread. Asymptomatic infection with chikungunya can go undetected and therefore also increase the risk for spread.

WHO advises people within and traveling to this area of France to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during the day. In addition, vector control and blood safety measures should be taken.