The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Dengue fever cases in Switzerland back to pre-corona level

Updated at 02 Apr 2024 4:02 pm

Since the beginning of the year, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has registered 108 cases of dengue fever in Switzerland. This means that the disease, which is transmitted by the tiger mosquito, has returned to its pre-Covid-19 pandemic level. This is due to the increase in travel activity.

By March 25, 2023, there had been 41 dengue cases in Switzerland, compared to just seven in the first twelve weeks of 2022, according to the FOPH bulletin published on Tuesday. Infections rose sharply in the dengue epidemic areas.

Peru declared a health emergency in February, while Guatemala did the same last August. According to the UN, Latin America and the Caribbean had to reckon with a particularly high number of dengue cases.

Between the turn of the year and the end of January alone, the health authorities recorded 3.5 million cases and thousands of deaths. That was three times as many as in the previous record year of 2023.

No dengue victims in Switzerland

The further development in Switzerland depends on the global dengue situation, travel activity and the spread of the mosquitoes that transmit the virus, as the FOPH informed the Keystone-SDA news agency in response to an inquiry. In 2023, the office counted 291 dengue cases, compared to 109 in 2022. No one died from a dengue infection while traveling in these years.

Asian tiger mosquitoes have been monitored since their introduction to Switzerland because, like other mosquitoes of the Aedes species, they can transmit the dengue virus. Local infections have not yet been recorded in Switzerland, but have been recorded in the neighboring countries of Italy and France, where the tiger mosquito is also present.

According to the FOPH, it can therefore not be ruled out that there will be corresponding reports in Switzerland in the foreseeable future. There is no effective medication against the dengue virus, the FOPH added. Symptoms include high fever, aching limbs and chills.

Treatment is symptomatic with antipyretic and analgesic medication. There are two vaccines on the European market that have not yet been approved in Switzerland. Preventive measures against mosquito bites are considered the best protection.


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