Dengue epidemic in Martinique, France

News story

French authorities have reported an increased number of dengue cases in Martinique in recent months. The number of cases notified constitute the largest outbreak reported on the island in the last decade.

From 4 November 2019 to 27 September 2020, 20 520 suspected dengue cases have been reported in Martinique, including eight severe cases and ten deaths. Among these cases, 7 790 cases, including one severe case and seven deaths were reported in September 2020. Epidemiological information from the ten deaths indicate a higher mortality rate for women, with a male-to-female ratio of 0.25:1. Four of the deaths were in the 0 to 30 year-old age group, three in the 30 to 44 year-old age group, two in the 45 to 64 year-old age group and one in the above 65 year-old age group. The main comorbidities reported among the fatal cases were arterial hypertension, obesity and sickle cell disease. Dengue virus serotype 3 was identified in most of the cases.

French authorities have also reported an increased number of dengue cases in Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy in recent months.

According to the French health authorities and as of 27 September 2020, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy are in an epidemic phase.

EU/EEA travellers to and residents in the affected areas should apply personal protective measures against mosquito bites. The occurrence of further autochthonous cases in the French Antilles is expected, as environmental conditions are favourable for continuous transmission. The concurrent circulation of several dengue serotypes may increase the risk of more severe clinical presentations of the disease.