Communicable disease threats report, 9-15 December 2012, week 50

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)

The ECDC communicable disease threats report is a weekly bulletin intended for epidemiologists and health professionals in the area of communicable disease prevention and control. Summarising information gathered by ECDC through its epidemic intelligence activities regarding communicable disease threats of concern to the European Union, it also provides updates on the global situation and changes in the epidemiology of communicable diseases with potential to affect Europe, including diseases that are the focus of eradication efforts.

Executive summary

On 3 October 2012, the Public Health Authority of Portugal reported two cases of dengue infection in patients residing in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, constituting the first known occurrence of locally transmitted dengue infection. As of 9 December 2012, 2 050 cases of dengue fever have been reported from Madeira. Between 3 and 9 December 2012, 57 cases were reported – representing a 44 per cent decrease from the previous week. As of 13 December 2012, 58 cases of dengue have been reported among travellers returning from Madeira since the start of the outbreak. Portugal reported ten patients; the United Kingdom 20; Germany 14; France three; Finland four; Croatia, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland have each reported one case.Residents and travellers visiting the island are strongly advised to take individual protective measures, like using repellents, to avoid mosquito bites. Since dengue is transmitted by a daytime mosquito (Aedes aegypti), protective measures should be applied throughout the whole day.

ECDC monitors influenza activity in Europe during the winter seasons and publishes the results on its website in the Weekly Influenza Surveillance Overview. During week 49/2012, clinical influenza activity of low intensity was notified by all 24 reporting countries, with the majority of them indicating sporadic geographic spread.