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03 August 2022

Dengue virus infections among European travellers, 2015 to 2019

Gossner CM, et al. Dengue virus infections among European travellers, 2015 to 2019. Euro Surveill 2022; 27: 1234–5.
J Trav Med 2022; Jan 18: taac002.

Dengue is the most frequent vector-borne viral illness in travelers. Ae. aegypti is no longer present in Europe, but Ae. albopictus is now established and has driven large dengue outbreaks since 2017. Gossner et al. conducted a descriptive analysis of travel-related dengue cases reported in Europe between 2015 and 2019. Of 11,478 such cases, the traveler infection rate (TIR) was 2.8 per 100,000 travelers. Most cases (71%) were infected in Asia (TIR 6.1/100,000), mainly in the south-eastern (TIR 15.8/100,000) and southern (TIR 8.1/100,000) regions.

Seasonal peaks among travelers returning from Asia occurred in March–May (mainly from Thailand and Indonesia), August (most countries) and August–November (mostly from India). Peaks among travelers returning from other countries occurred in March–May (South America), August–December (Central America and Caribbean) and May and August–November (Polynesia).

There was an association between the disease incidence in the local populations of visited countries and the TIR. Variations in the returning traveler infection distribution in European regions were explained by differences in travel habits and preferences. Travel-related cases in receptive areas and occurrence of autochthonous outbreaks in Europe were not linked. The number of travel-related cases alone is not sufficient to predict autochthonous outbreaks.