Following reports of travel-associated Zika virus infection in the United Kingdom, more European countries are now reporting cases in travelers to Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Portuguese National Health Institute (NHI) have reported five “mild” Zika virus infections, all imported. “As of today we have five confirmed cases, all imported from Brazil. These people have not been hospitalized and do not require further medical attention as these are mild cases.”
In Italy, health officials are reporting four imported Zika cases, while in Spain, two cases have been confirmed.
So far, all reported cases of the Zika virus in these countries have been found in people who have recently returned from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Late last year, the Netherlands reported imported Zika from a traveler to Suriname.
In 2012 and early 2013, the island of Madeira saw a large outbreak of locally-acquired dengue fever with more than 2,000 cases. Dengue fever is transmitted by the same Aedes mosquito vector that transmits Zika and chikungunya.
Health officials say travel associated Zika is expected to be seen on the continent given the scale of the outbreak in South America and the frequency of international travel.