Health Professionals

Clinical Updates

8 November 2012

Dengue fever in Madeira (Portugal) including cases in travellers – update 2

This updates case numbers reported in the Clinical Update of 25 October 2012.

The dengue fever outbreak in Madeira continues and has evolved rapidly since it began on 3 October 2012.

As of 4 November 2012, a total of 517 laboratory confirmed cases of dengue fever have been reported in Madeira since the outbreak began [1]. A further 631 probable cases have been reported. Fifty seven patients have required hospital treatment, no deaths have occurred.

A team of experts from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) are working with the Madeira General Directorate of Health to control the outbreak.

Cases in travellers from the European Union

As of 25 October 2012, 11 cases of dengue have been reported in European travellers who visited Madeira during late September and October [2,3]. The cases include travellers from France (2), Germany (2), Sweden (1) and United Kingdom (6). In addition eight cases were diagnosed in those returning to mainland Portugal. None of these cases had a serious illness and are recovering well.

Advice for travellers

Currently there are no travel restrictions to Madeira. However, all travellers to areas where dengue is known or presumed to occur should practise mosquito bite avoidance. Aedes mosquitoes bite in the day, particularly around dawn and dusk.

Travellers who develop symptoms such as fever, severe headache, muscle pain and a rash within 14 days of visiting Madeira are advised to seek medical advice.

There is no vaccine available to protect against dengue.

Further information about dengue can be found on the NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on dengue fever.

Advice for health professionals

Health professionals who suspect a case of dengue fever in a traveller should send appropriate samples for testing (with full travel and clinical history) to the Health Protection Agency, Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory.


1. Minestério da Saúde. Comunicado do Director Geral Da Saúde, Dengue na Região Autónoma da Madeira – atualização 07/11/2012. In Portuguese. [Accessed 8 November 2012]. Available at:

2. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Epidemiological update: outbreak of dengue in Madeira, Portugal. 8 November 2012. [Accessed 8 November 2012]. Available at:

3. Health Protection Agency. Update on dengue fever cases in Madeira, Portugal. 8 November 2012. [Accessed 8 November 2012]. Available at: