Dengue fever in Madeira, Portugal

A dengue outbreak has been reported in Portugal, with 18 confirmed cases and 191 probable cases as of 10 October 2012.

The public health authorities of Portugal are implementing control measures to reduce the risk of sustained transmission locally, to minimize the impact on the affected population and to prevent the export of infected vectors from the island.

About dengue fever

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an “Aedes” mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses. Symptoms appear 3–14 days after infection, and range from mild fever to incapacitating high fever with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, and rash.

Public health advice on dengue fever in Madeira

WHO advises the public, if travelling to areas with dengue outbreaks, to take individual protective measures during the day to reduce mosquito bites.

On returning from affected areas, travellers diagnosed with dengue should be reported to surveillance systems.

With respect to this event, WHO does not advise any travel or trade restriction to be applied to the island of Madeira.

WHO advice to Member States

WHO is supporting the Portuguese Ministry of Health rapidly to develop additional vector-control guidance with a specific emphasis on port settings.

WHO encourages public health authorities in neighbouring geographical areas, and other Member States, to assess the risk of the establishment of an “Aedes” mosquito population and the introduction of dengue in their territories.