Dengue Fever on the Rise in Europe

Dengue Fever on the Rise in Europe

Context: In recent years, Europe has seen a significant rise in locally transmitted dengue cases, with 2022 and 2023 surpassing the combined total of the past seven decades. Warmer conditions in Europe are aiding the spread of invasive mosquitoes that transmit dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses.

How Dengue Spreads in Europe

• For local transmission to occur, mosquitoes need to be established in the area, and the temperature needs to be high (between 15 and 35 degrees Celsius) enough for them to breed and survive.
• The virus also needs to be introduced into the community (typically by a traveller).
• Travel-related dengue cases in Europe are common, but the risk escalates when infected individuals encounter warm weather, urban areas, and Aedes mosquitoes, facilitating virus transmission.
• This was previously rare in Europe but has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Factors Contributing to the Rise in Locally Transmitted Dengue Cases
• Extended periods of warm conditions facilitate mosquito breeding and increase mosquito populations.
• Aedes albopictus mosquitoes have spread across Europe, particularly in Mediterranean and Central European regions, thriving near densely populated areas.
• Increased Travel-Related Transmission: With global dengue cases doubling from 2010 to 2022, travellers returning from endemic regions contribute to the virus’s spread.

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