The health authorities in Ibiza have asked holidaymakers there to look out for symptoms of dengue.
The Balearic Islands experienced an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus between May and November last year.
Health authorities warn that the risk of infection is “moderate” expected this summer.
What are the symptoms to look out for and how do you protect yourself?
How many tourists caught dengue in Ibiza last year?
Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes infected with the dengue virus. The disease is common in areas with hot and humid climates – an environment in which mosquitoes thrive.
The disease cannot be transmitted from person to person, but a person infected with the virus can infect mosquitoes, which in turn will increase the spread of the virus.
Six German tourists contracted the virus in Ibiza between May and November last year. A 27-year-old woman, her partner, and their 13-month-old daughter contracted dengue fever in August 2022. Another family — a 37-year-old woman, her partner, and their nine-year-old son — were suspected of being infected with the virus in the same city in October 2022.
The risk of contracting the virus is currently low, but it will rise to moderate levels over the summer.
A spokesman for the Spanish Ministry of Health said: “One possible vector of the dengue virus is the Aedes albopictus mosquito, which is found throughout the region, in the Mediterranean Sea, the Spanish Balearic Islands and in some inland and northern regions of the country.” .
As soon as cases are known, the Balearic Islands authorities have taken measures such as relevant surveillance and Vector control Communications and public information before and during the start of the season of vector activity.”
What are the symptoms of dengue fever?
Approximately 100 million cases of dengue fever occur worldwide each year. Up to three-quarters of people with dengue have no symptoms.
People who get sick may have mild or severe symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, and a rash. Another warning sign is pain in the joints, bones, muscles, and behind the eyes.
These begin between four and 10 days after the mosquito bite. If you suspect you may have the virus, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
While most people recover without treatment in about a week, about 1 in 20 people experience severe symptoms. If this is the case, you should go to the emergency room immediately. People who have already had the virus have an increased risk of getting sick.
Abdominal pain, bloody vomiting, and bleeding from the nose or gums are symptoms of acute dengue fever.
How to protect yourself from dengue fever?
There is a dengue vaccine approved in the European Union, but it is only recommended for people who have had the disease before.
The best and easiest way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquito bites. Wear long-sleeved clothing, use insect repellent, and sleep under a mosquito net.
Where is dengue found in Europe?
Dengue is common in the tropics and subtropics, but is relatively rare in Europe.
During the summer months it has been detected so far in the following European countries:
– Portugal and Madeira
With climate change and global warming, the virus is likely to spread north in the future.