First big dengue fever outbreak in Europe since 1920s, EU reports

Europe is experiencing its first sustained transmission of dengue fever since the 1920s after an outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease in Madeira, Portugal that has infected more than 1,300 people, an EU agency said.

The Portuguese health ministry reported 1,357 cases as of November 11, 669 of which were laboratory confirmed and 688 were probable cases, the Stockholm-based European Centre for and Control (ECDC) said in a statement issued late Tuesday.

Some 25 patients from mainland Portugal, Britain, Germany, France and Sweden have been diagnosed with dengue after returning home from visits to the Portuguese island, the ECDC added.

No deaths have been recorded, it said, but stressed that given the high number of visitors to Madeira, among other things, "the outbreak is large and constitutes a significant public health event."

Dengue is spread by one of four viruses transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It causes , headaches, itching and joint pains. At an advanced stage it can lead to haemorrhaging and death.

The which carries the disease has been present on Madeira since at least 2005, the agency said, and the first two cases of dengue fever were reported among residents on October 3.

The ECDC said the outbreak was still ongoing, and recommended residents and travellers visiting the island to take "individual protective measures", such as using , to avoid . Dengue is transmitted by a daytime mosquito.

It also urged aircraft, airports and ports in Madeira to continue disinfection procedures.

"With tourists visiting Madeira, continued import of dengue cases from the island to other EU countries is to be expected until the mosquito population is decreased and transmission interrupted," the ECDC said.

According to the UN's , between 50 and 100 million dengue infections occur each year in more than 100 countries. In 1970, the disease was endemic in just nine countries.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Two dengue cases confirmed on Portuguese Atlantic island

Oct 04, 2012

Portuguese health authorities on Thursday reported two cases of full-blown mosquito-borne dengue on the popular tourist archipelago of Madeira and said another 22 people were suspected of carrying the virus that causes the ...

Cuba issues warning about dengue mosquitos

Aug 16, 2012

Cuban health officials warned Thursday about an increased number of mosquitoes in the country's urban areas that can spread diseases such as dengue fever.

Dengue fever makes deadly comeback in Greece

Sep 04, 2012

An elderly Greek man has died from complications of dengue fever, marking a reappearance of the mosquito-borne disease 85 years after its eradication from Greece, officials said Tuesday.

Brazil to breed GM mosquitoes to combat dengue

Jul 10, 2012

Brazil said Monday it will breed huge numbers of genetically modified mosquitoes to help stop the spread of dengue fever, an illness that has already struck nearly 500,000 people this year nationwide.

Recommended for you

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

18 hours ago

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

22 hours ago

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

Dec 19, 2014

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

Dec 19, 2014

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.