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Surge in Local Dengue Transmission Across Europe in 2023

Autochthonous dengue cases surge in several European countries in 2023, indicating local transmission. The changing landscape of infectious diseases, heightened by climate change, calls for robust health systems and effective surveillance.

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Nimrah Khatoon
New Update
Surge in Local Dengue Transmission Across Europe in 2023

In the year 2023, Europe witnessed a surge in the local transmission of dengue, marking an unprecedented shift in the disease's spread. Italy, France, Germany, and Spain all reported cases of autochthonous dengue, indicating local mosquito-borne transmission rather than infections acquired abroad.

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Europe's Dengue Outbreak

In Italy, 82 autochthonous dengue cases were registered across the provinces of Lodi, Rome, Anzio, and Latina. France reported 43 cases distributed among eight local transmission clusters in regions such as Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Occitanie, Auvergne Rhone-Alpes, and Ile-de-France. The German health authorities reported two cases linked to travel to Ibiza, Spain, with one confirmed and one probable, besides four epidemiologically linked cases. Spain confirmed its first autochthonous dengue case in the Tarragona region of Catalonia in August, followed by cases in the Maresme region. Notably, two out of these three cases required hospitalization.

No Autochthonous Chikungunya in Europe

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Despite the increase in dengue, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported no instances of autochthonous chikungunya in Europe this year. Similarly, no autochthonous Zika cases were reported in France and Italy. The Dengvaxia vaccine was mentioned in the context of these diseases, although no further details were provided.

Climate Change and Infectious Diseases

The article underscored the correlation between climate change and infectious disease outbreaks. Rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and displacement/migration due to climate change can exacerbate the spread of infectious diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, and West Nile virus. The need for swift action to mitigate the public health crisis worsened by climate change is apparent, with calls for expanded genomic surveillance capabilities and investment in resilient healthcare systems. The article also accentuated the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable communities and the importance of learning from achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In conclusion, the recent surge in dengue cases in Europe is indicative of the changing landscape of infectious diseases globally. As the world grapples with the effects of climate change, the need for robust public health systems, effective surveillance, and prompt action cannot be overstated. The multilayered challenges posed by dengue underscore the complex interplay of environmental factors, demographic changes, and public health preparedness in the face of emerging infectious diseases.

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