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Advice issued after rise in mosquito borne viruses in Europe

30 June 2023

Public Health is issuing advice on how Islanders can protect themselves against mosquitoes when travelling abroad this summer. 

This follows a rise in viruses that mosquitoes carry, such as dengue and the West Nile virus, which has been estimated to be caused by warmer and longer summers and more frequent flooding events. 

The mosquitos carrying these viruses are found in central to southern Europe. No cases have been identified in the UK or Jersey. 

In 2022, just over 1,100 cases of West Nile virus and 71 cases of dengue were reported in the EU. The majority of infections of the West Nile virus are asymptomatic, and typical symptoms include headaches, malaise, fever, myalgia, vomiting, rash, fatigue, and eye pain. 

The majority of dengue cases are also asymptomatic but for those who do show symptoms, the most common are high fever, headache, body aches, nausea and rash. Most will also recover within one to two weeks. 

Measures Islanders can take to protect themselves while abroad include: 

  • using insecticide-treated bed nets 
  • sleeping in air-conditioned rooms 
  • using window screens 
  • wearing clothes that cover most of the body 
  • using mosquito repellent 

Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, said: “While the majority of cases of these viruses are asymptomatic, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of a form of the illnesses that can be fatal. I urge Islanders who are travelling abroad this summer to protect themselves and their families by following public health advice.”

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