The Health Secretary for Portugal spoke to the media during a visit to the island of Madeira where he is assessing the current outbreak of dengue fever. He stated that new dengue virus infections were diminishing, however complete eradication of the vector of dengue (the Aedes aegypti mosquito) would be very difficult as it had become established in the community.
As of 5 December 2012, the health ministry report that 1,993 cases of dengue fever had been recorded since the start of the outbreak, with a 54% drop in the number of cases registered in the week beginning 26 November from the preceding week and that all those infected are recovering.
A total of 118 people have received hospital treatment in Madeira since October 2012, and there have been no deaths.
Forty two cases of dengue fever have been reported among travellers returning from Madeira to the UK, Germany, Sweden and France.
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 maculo-papular rash within 14 days of their trip seek medical advice.