Are British tourists REALLY at risk of dengue fever in Spain? Ibiza newspaper blasts reports in the UK press based on ‘old data’ as ‘not helpful’ to the island

BRITISH tourists have been warned to take precautions when travelling to Ibiza due to multiple cases of dengue fever.

According to an exclusive in the Daily Mail, holidaymakers have been warned about the spread of the disease, which they say has ‘pandemic potential’.

However a local newspaper, Diario de Ibiza, branded the article ‘unhelpful’ in the run up to the crucial tourism season.

The Mail cited two cases of dengue on the island as the cause for concern, but later said that they are dated from 2022.

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However, it said the cases could suggest that the disease is spreading among the population ‘undetected’.

“Experts fear that dozens more could become ill, and warn that mosquitoes carrying the disease are abundant in April,” the report warns.

According to Diario de Ibiza, the data was taken from an article by Eurosurveillance, a European scientific journal on infectious diseases.

A study in the journal says: “According to epidemiological surveillance data from the Balearic Islands, between 2015 and 2023, 44 cases of travel-associated dengue were reported (all residents of Spain).

“Of these 44, seven were residents (permanent or temporary) in Ibiza; two of which were notified in 2022”.

While Dengue is not yet endemic in Spain, as it is not transmitted regularly within the country, the National Association of Environmental Health Companies (Anecpla) said: “We must be kept on alert since our country plays a fundamental role as it is located in a very important geographic axis of global transit.”

Ibiza, Spain

Seemingly criticising the Mail piece, Diario de Ibiza wrote: “This information on the dengue cases in Ibiza, which dates back to 2022, has been published in the Daily Mail as current, since neither in the headline, nor in the intro, nor in the first paragraphs of the news is the reader warned that these are not currently registered cases and, with the season about to begin, it is not information that benefits the image of Ibiza.”

Dengue fever is an infectious disease caused by a virus endemic to tropical countries, but which in recent years has caused outbreaks in Europe from cases imported by travellers from other areas. 

The bite of the tiger mosquito, a species originally from Asia but established in wide areas of southern Europe for two decades, is the transmission route of the virus in the vast majority of cases.

There is no specific treatment for dengue, which can be a deadly disease, but early detection and prompt medical care can reduce fatality rates to 1%.

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