Cases of dengue registered in the Community of Madrid so far in 2024 have been increased to 76, all of them imported, which means doubling those notified in the same period of 2023according to the latest data from the Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases Area of ​​the General Subdirectorate of Public Health Surveillance.

This same week, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of increase in dengue cases due to climate change and globalization, among other causes. According to the latest data, as of June 20, more than 9.6 million cases of dengue have been reported (4.7 million confirmed), more than 19,000 severe cases and more than 5,000 deaths.

The increase in the number of cases has been particularly pronounced in the Americas region, where the number of cases is three times what was declared during the same period in 2023, which highlights the acceleration of this health problem. Currently, 90 countries have active dengue transmission.

Rising trend in the Community of Madrid

The trend in the Community in the last two years points to an increase in dengue cases, with 138 cases in 2023 and 124 in 2022, and a significant jump compared to 2021, with a minimum in the last five years of 13.

In the pFirst 24 weeks of 2024, until June 16, 76 cases have been recordeds, which is double (+105.4%) than those registered in the same period of the previous year, according to data from the latest weekly Epidemiological Bulletin of the Community of Madrid, collected by Europa Press.

In this way, the Epidemic Index (IE) – the cases reported up to the corresponding week in the current year divided by the cases reported in the same period of the previous year – in the region is 2.5, which implies a high incidence.

One of the 10 threats to global public health

Dengue is an infection caused by the virus of the same name and Transmitted by the bite of Aedes mosquitoes., which are widely distributed in areas of Central and South America, the Caribbean and southern Asia. It is found among the 10 threats to global public healthaccording to the WHO.

In Europe, reported cases are mainly travel-related. However, there have been sporadic indigenous cases of dengue since 2010 in five countries: Croatia, France, Italy, Portugal (Madeira) and Spain. In 2023, autochthonous cases were reported in three countries: Italy (82), France (45) and Spain (3).

However, until now No indigenous cases of dengue have been reported in Europe so far in 2024although summer has not yet begun, when the activity of mosquito vectors begins.

With prevalence in more than 125 countriess, this virus causes every year 390 million infections and 500,000 hospitalizations worldwide and it is the second most diagnosed cause of fever in travelers returning to Europe from endemic countries.

Greater presence of tiger mosquitoes in Spain

One of the Potential vectors of dengue are the Aedes albopictus mosquito, known as the tiger mosquito.. It is an invasive mosquito, black in color, with a white line from the head to the thorax and white spots on the legs and abdomen.

Is an insect native to Southeast Asia, but currently found on all five continents and has spread rapidly throughout Europe since it was detected in Albania in 1979. In 2004 it was detected for the first time in Catalonia and since then it has been advancing, first along the Mediterranean coast and then in the interior and urban areas, with a presence also punctual in the Community of Madrid.

In the specific case of the region, the General Directorate of Public Health of the In 2018, the Community of Madrid detected the presence of the tiger mosquito in an urbanization in Velilla de San Antonio, while a year earlier eggs of this species and no adult specimen were detected. Since 2016, the Community of Madrid has established an entomological surveillance network for tiger mosquitoes.

Very dependent on weather conditions, being especially sensitive to desiccation, they breed in small containers that accumulate stagnant water for more than a week. The reproductive periods vary depending on the temperature and its periods of greatest activity are estimated between May and November.

Their Bites are very annoying and sometimes cause allergic reactions of some severity.. They can transmit diseases such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya, although the probability is small because they are not common diseases in the Community of Madrid.

Although there is currently no specific treatment for dengue, early detection and appropriate medical care for case management can significantly reduce mortality.