ECDC rapid risk assessment: local transmission of dengue fever in France and Spain

30 October 2018

Article: 52/4304

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published a rapid risk assessment concerning locally acquired cases of dengue fever in southern France and Spain (see current note 52/4203).

In early October, nine cases of autochthonous dengue were confirmed in the EU, three in Spain and six in France, in three separate outbreaks. These are the first autochthonous dengue cases in continental EU/EEA member states that were reported this year. Prior to these cases, no autochthonous dengue cases had been reported in continental EU/EEA member states since 2017.

Investigations are ongoing, but there is no established epidemiological link between the two outbreaks in France (five cases in Saint Laurent du Var, one case in Montpellier) and it is uncertain whether the cases in Spain were infected in the region of Murcia or in the Province of Cádiz.

Detection of further cases in the affected regions and elsewhere is possible. The risk that visitors to the affected areas may become infected and introduce the virus to their country of residence cannot be excluded. However, historically, dengue outbreaks in Europe have had a maximum of seven reported autochthonous cases and these always occurred during the season of high vector activity. Therefore, the likelihood of onward local transmission and of introduction of the virus from France and Spain into other receptive areas in the EU/EEA with subsequent sustained local transmission is very low.

The rapid risk assessment is available on the ECDC website

Source: ECDC, 22 October 2018