The Federal Office of Public Health said on Monday that 154 cases of dengue fever have been reported since the start of the year, compared with 68 in 2022. The public health office blames this increase on the resumption of travel.
In addition to dengue fever, the number of cases of chikungunya has also risen sharply, from 2 reported in 2022 to 17 this year. The number of malaria cases is following the same trend, with 272 cases recorded up to the 38th week of this year, compared with 241 last year.
According to the public health office, the increase in cases of dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases is due to the resumption of travel after the Covid pandemic. The figures are back to pre-2020 levels. The cases reported in Switzerland exclusively concern people infected abroad.
The presence of the tiger mosquito in Switzerland does not necessarily mean that there will be a dengue epidemic, says the office. But it is possible that a local mosquito could bite an infected person returning from an endemic region and in turn transmit the virus to another person, it adds.
The long-term risk of disease transmission and the fact that tiger mosquitoes can be extremely annoying are the reasons why the spread is being actively monitored by the cantons. The tiger mosquito was first spotted in canton Ticino in 2003, and has since been found in several cantons in French-speaking Switzerland. Control measures have been put in place to prevent its spread.
Source: Swiss Info