A police force in the US has been criticised after issuing a warning about methamphetamine being infected with the Zika virus and offering to test people’s drugs in a plot to catch users.

Hanrahan Police Department in Louisiana published the warning on Facebook, saying: "If you have recently purchased meth in any area of Louisiana it may be contaminated with the Zika virus."

The force told residents: "Please bring all of it to your local police department and they will test it for free."

However, the mayor of the town said he was concerned about false information being spread by the police department.

Unsurprisingly, nobody took the force up on the offer – despite the alarm the Zika virus caused when it swept across the Americas in 2015.

Governments, academic laboratories and pharmaceutical companies invested heavily in stopping the epidemic, with Brazil declaring an end to its Zika emergency in May after a drop in cases.

The virus was primarily transmitted through mosquito bite blood contamination, although it can also be passed from mother to child and through sexual intercourse.

It is not believed that the virus can infect methamphetamine.

However, the town’s outgoing mayor, Tina Miceli, criticised the Facebook post, saying: "I am concerned about the information that is disseminated to the community and our surrounding communities, and how they are getting their information. I don’t want residents afraid without having information."

Ms Miceli’s replacement, Tim Baudier, said he found the post funny.

(c) Sky News 2018: Police criticised for fake Zika-infected crystal meth warning