Viral Disease Found in South of France

PARIS, Sept. 27 (UPI) — Doctors in the south of France have been put on alert after the second case of mosquito-borne chikungunya virus was detected in the region, authorities said.

Two 12-year-old girls in the town of Frejus have now caught the virus and both cases were classified “native,” meaning neither victim had traveled to the parts of eastern Africa, southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent where the virus is widespread, Radio France Internationale reported.

The virus is carried by the tiger mosquito, which has been moving north in recent years, health officials say.

The tiger mosquito also carries dengue fever, and two cases were detected in the Riviera region for the first time earlier this month, they said.

There is no vaccine or treatment for chikungunya, which causes fever, headache, arthritic symptoms and debilitating pain.

In extreme cases, the virus can be fatal, health experts say.

In 2005 an outbreak on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean infected a quarter of the population in two years, causing some 250 deaths, RFI said.

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