LONDON Oct 25 Fifty-two people are confirmed to
be suffering from dengue fever in the Portuguese archipelago of
Madeira and another 404 probably have the mosquito-borne
disease, health officials said on Thursday.
Two cases of dengue - also called "breakbone fever" because
of the severe pain it can cause - have also been reported in
France among people returning from Madeira, as well as one each
in Britain and Sweden.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control,
which monitors disease in the European Union, said it was not
recommending any restrictions on travel to Madeira, but was
advising protection against mosquito bites.
While there have been no deaths since the first cases were
reported in Madeira three weeks ago, some 40 people have
required treatment in hospital. The archipelago lies north of
the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
The first local transmissions of dengue fever in Europe were
recorded in France and Croatia in 2010.
Earlier this year, Greek health officials attributed the
death of an 80-year-old man to its first case of dengue since an
outbreak there in 1927-28. Greece is suffering from an upsurge
in a number of mosquito-borne diseases.
Dengue is a viral infection that can cause a range of
symptoms, from mild flu-like illness to more serious illnesses
including rashes and bone pain. Severe and potentially deadly
forms develop in around five percent of patients.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Rosalind Russell)