Local transmission of dengue infection has been now established for several weeks on Madeira and as of 11 November 2012, the Portuguese Ministry of Health reports 1 357 cases of dengue infection; 669 laboratory confirmed and 688 probable cases.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, 89 patients have been hospitalised and five currently remain in hospital. So far, 25 patients have been diagnosed with dengue after returning from the island: cases were reported from mainland Portugal (9), the UK (6), Germany (7), Sweden (1) and France (2).
The latest data indicate that the outbreak is on-going and its exact development cannot be anticipated at this point. 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.
Advice for Travellers
The increase in cases of dengue fever in travellers highlights the importance that travellers must be aware of the risk of dengue fever and protect themselves from mosquito bites by taking the necessary precautions.
In light of dengue fever in returning travellers, ECDC re-enforces the advice that those who have visited Madeira and experience febrile symptoms with severe headache, retro-orbital pain, myalgia, arthralgia and maculopapular rash within 14 days of their trip seek medical advice.