The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) says 6,382 autochthonous cases of Dengue fever have been confirmed in the French overseas territory of Reunion since January.

Aedes albopictus/FotoshopTofs
Aedes albopictus/FotoshopTofs

The Reunion is the southern-most member of the European Union and one of many islands in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. Its neighbours include the Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar.

In its latest Communicable Disease Threats Report for the week ending August 10, the ECDC said the western parts of the island nation were most affected by the Dengue outbreak.

“The circulating serotype is DENV-2. The main vector of infection implicated in the outbreak is Aedes albopictus. Control activities currently in place include active reinforced vector control, enhanced surveillance, blood safety measures and social mobilisation,” reads part of the analysis.

The centre said there remains a high probability of onward transmission in Europe due to possible potential virus importation by viraemic travellers into receptive areas, which are ‘locations of established and active competent vectors.’

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Aedes albopictus is already well-established in some southern member states of the EU, with environmental conditions currently favourable for vector activity. Vector abundance was found to high enough to allow for further transmission of the Dengue virus, with potential for local outbreaks.