A child who was admitted to the Hospital Sant Joan de Reus (Tarragona) with a fever and who has already been discharged is the first case in four years of autochthonous dengue in Catalonia, the Generalitat Health Department has reported.

Dengue is an infectious disease of viral origin that is transmitted by mosquito bites and that can cause fever or severe pain in joints and muscles, among other symptoms.

According to the Ministry of Health, it is a disease mainly imported into Spain – in more than 99% of cases – although in the last six years several indigenous transmissions have been detected.

The latest Health data (July 2023) indicate that the first cases of autochthonous dengue were identified in 2018: an outbreak of 5 related cases in the Region of Murcia and another isolated resident in Catalonia, unrelated to the previous outbreak. In 2019 another autochthonous case was detected in Catalonia, in addition to a case in Madrid, the latter probably due to sexual transmission.

Likewise, the report on the Risk of appearance of new autochthonous cases of diseases transmitted by Aedes in Spain indicates that in 2022, 6 (1 confirmed, 1 probable and 4 possible) of autochthonous transmission were detected on the island of Ibiza.

From 2016 to 2021 the evolution of notifications of dengue cases in Spain has been variable, with a total of 1,894 and an average of 237 per year, maximum in 2022 (504), and with a greater number of cases in holiday periods (between June and September).

Until the beginning of August 2023, 27 imported cases of dengue had been confirmed in Catalonia, until at the end of that month confirmation of the case of autochthonous transmission was received in the minor who had not traveled to any country where this disease is endemic.

In Catalonia it is possible to become infected through the bite of the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which is increasingly present due to the effect of climate change, although the probability is low.

After the Reus case, Salut P├║blica has reported that it is actively looking for new cases in the places where the patient resided and in the places they have visited, while inspections are being carried out to detect possible sources of transmission.

In addition, primary care and hospital services are alerted to detect suspected cases among people who have resided or traveled to the territory where the case occurred.

Finally, delimited screenings have been requested in the detection area for the donation of blood and its components, organs and tissues.