France reports first mainland case of dengue fever

France announced its first reported case of dengue fever on its mainland on September 13 in the southern city of Nice.

Nice, according to the AFP, is rapidly trying to control its mosquito population. The female Aedes mosquito is known to transmit the disease to humans and the species is plentiful in late summer.

Residents have been asked to use mosquito netting and to remove areas of standing water that mosquitoes can use to breed. Health officials have yet to rule out an epidemic.

"This is an isolated case and no other has yet been noticed," the ministry said in a statement, according to the AFP. "The patient is better and in good health. The risk of an epidemic is deemed limited but cannot be excluded, because of the significant numbers of tiger mosquitoes in the area."

For most victims, dengue fever demonstrates flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, nausea and muscle or joint pain. One strain of the disease, however, produces severe hemorrhaging that can be fatal. Because of the hemorrhaging risk, it is critical that dengue victims not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication.

The French overseas territories of Martinique and Guadalupe were hit by a dengue epidemic that peaked in the Caribbean in August. Martinique alone has seen 32,600 cases of dengue since February. The disease left 432 people in the hospital and caused 13 deaths.