Epidemiological update: autochthonous cases of chikungunya fever in France, 23 October 2014

Epidemiological update

French authorities reported a cluster of four autochthonous cases of chikungunya infection in Languedoc-Roussillon region, south of France. This is the first report of autochthonous chikungunya virus transmission in France this year.

​On 20 October 2014, French authorities reported a cluster of four autochthonous cases of chikungunya infection in Languedoc-Roussillon region, south of France. The cases have been confirmed by the French national reference laboratory for arboviruses.

The cases are from the same family, living in the same neighbourhood of Montpellier rin the vicinity of a chikungunya case imported from Cameroon. The cases did not have any history of travel outside the district in the 15 days prior to the symptoms onset. They have now recovered  [1,2].  France has implemented the relevant public health and vector control measures according to their national dengue and chikungunya control plan [3].

This is the first report of autochthonous chikungunya virus transmission in France this year. Previous autochthonous transmission occurred in 2010 in the Var district [4].It is not an unexpected event as the competent vector, Aedes albopictus, has been established in this district since 2011 and imported chikungunya cases have been reported frequently in 2014.

France implements each year from the first of May onwards enhanced dengue and chikungunya surveillance in the areas infested by Aedes albopictus. In 2014, 403 imported chikungunya cases were reported in the country of which 72 in Languedoc-Roussillon region [5].

This event highlights the necessity for European countries, particularly those where Aedes albopictus mosquito is present, to elaborate preparedness plans including public health and vector control measures, to prevent the establishment of the disease in Europe.

Chikungunya

Chikungunya is an arboviral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, mainly by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which are active during the day. [6] The incubation period varies from one to 12 days. Patients usually develop a sudden onset of fever, headache and arthralgia. Conjunctivitis and rash are also common features of chikungunya fever.

Since 1952 several outbreaks have been documented throughout Africa, South-East Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Americas.  Aedes albopictus is establish in the Mediterranean area [7].

 

 

References

 

1. Agence Regionale de Sante Languedoc-Roussillon. Passage au niveau 3 du plan anti-dissémination de la dengue et du chikungunya dans l'Hérault Agence Regionale de Sante Languedoc-Roussillon,; 2014 [cited 2014 22 October 2014]. Available from: http://www.ars.languedocroussillon.sante.fr/Passage-au-niveau-3-du-plan-an.176697.0.html.

2. http://www.who.int/csr/don/23-october-2014-chikungunya/en/
 
3. Ministère des Affaires Sociales et de la Santé. Guide relatif aux modalités de mise en oeuvre du plan anti-dissémination du chikungunya et de la dengue en métropole. Mise à jour 20142014. Available from: http://www.sante.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/Guide_relatif_aux_modalites_de_mise_en_oeuvre_du_plan_anti-dissemination_du_chikungunya_et_de_la_dengue_en_metropole_2014.pdf.
 
4. Grandadam M, Caro V, Plumet S, Thiberge JM, Souarès Y, et al. Chikungunya virus, southeastern France. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 May;17(5):910-3. doi: 10.3201/eid1705.101873
 
5. Institut de Veille Sanitaire. Chikungunya et dengue - Données de la surveillance renforcée en France métropolitaine en 2014: Institut de Veille Sanitaire,; 2014 [cited 2014 22 October 2014]. Available from: http://www.invs.sante.fr/Dossiers-thematiques/Maladies-infectieuses/Maladies-a-transmission-vectorielle/Chikungunya/Donnees-epidemiologiques/France-metropolitaine/Chikungunya-et-dengue-Donnees-de-la-surveillance-renforcee-en-France-metropolitaine-en-2014.
 
6. http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/chikungunya_fever/Pages/index.aspx
 
7. European Centre for Disease revention and Control. VBORNET - Network of medical entomologists and public health experts. Mosquito maps 2014 [22 October 2014]. Available from: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/vectors/vector-maps/Pages/VBORNET_maps.aspx.