BRITS have been warned about going on holiday to France due to an outbreak of dengue fever caused by mosquitoes.

French scientists are currently battling to contain an outbreak of the infection in Provence.

So far 47 people have been affected by the fever, which has been spread by Asian tiger mosquitoes.

The insects are becoming more common in France and scientists predict that within four or five years they will be all over the country.

What's more, the same scientists claim that the bugs will be a common site in the UK in a decade.

The NHS says dengue is the second most commonly identified cause of fever in unwell international travellers.

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Dr Irene Lai, Group Medical Director at International SOS, said: “Dengue is transmitted by mosquito bites.

“It is an increasing problem, with more cases, outbreaks becoming larger and more common, and the disease appearing in new areas. 

“Dengue, like most illnesses, causes a spectrum of disease.

“It can be very mild, while some people will experience strong headaches, high fever and rash. In the most severe cases, it can progress to bleeding and organ failure which can be fatal.”

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Around two per cent of the 100 million people who catch dengue fever every year end up with a serious illness. 

There is no vaccine available against dengue fever for travellers.

To prevent dengue fever, you need to reduce the risk of mosquito bites and breeding.

Mosquitoes are currently taking their "final blood meal" before going into hibernation, which means they are desperately searching for people to bite.

Bite prevention expert and Chairman of incognito anti-mosquito brand Howard Carter, recommends the CLOAK method to avoid being bitten.

CLOAK stands for:

  • C – Cover up arms and legs with suitable clothing.
  • L – Light coloured clothes are strongly advisable.
  • O – Odours, bodily or otherwise, like certain kairomones and perfumes attract mosquitoes. So wash thoroughly, including exfoliating with a loofah, and don't use perfumes.
  • A – Apply an effective, preferably natural, insect repellent.
  • K – Keep away from stagnant water if possible.

Howard explained which parts of the body mosquitoes like to bite and how people can avoid the critters.

He said: "A lot of mosquitoes zero in on the ears, wrists and ankles because this is where the skin is thinner and blood vessels are nearer the surface; which is one of the reasons women generally get bitten more than men.

"So, it is a good idea to wash with a loofah soap that contains citronella, then spray and use a moisturiser containing citronellol.

"But always use the spray last.

"Try burning incense sticks containing Java citronella, a substance which significantly helps to reduce your attractiveness to insects.

"The light smoke they emit further helps to deter them. Place the stick in a sturdy place, light the tip of the stick then blow out the flame.

"Ensure to keep the stick away from children and animals."

Perfumes can have the opposite effect, with some smells actually attracting the insects instead of repelling them.

Howard said: "It’s also important to avoid all fragrances. Some perfumes such as lavender combinations actually attract insects – just look closely at a lavender bush.

"Be aware that most toiletries and sunscreens, along with most fabric softeners contain scent. Be aware of your odour output.

"Use protection on any exposed skin and spray your clothing as well; mosquitoes can and will bite through fabric, even thick jeans.

"Spray an insect repellent on and around your door before entering, as mosquitoes often lie in wait on the outside of doors and windows and this simple procedure helps to keep them out."

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Your lighting could be to blame for you getting bitten by mosquitoes.

This person used to get bitten all the time but now knows how to dodge the insects.

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