Nature Scientific Reports, March 15, 2018

Eduardo Massad, Marcos Amaku, Francisco Antonio Bezerra Coutinho, Claudio José Struchiner, Marcelo Nascimento Burattini, Kamran Khan, Jing Liu-Helmersson, Joacim Rocklöv, Moritz U. G. Kraemer & Annelies Wilder-Smith


Given the speed of air travel, diseases even with a short viremia such as dengue can be easily exported to dengue naïve areas within 24 hours. We set out to estimate the risk of dengue virus introductions via travelers into Europe and number of secondary autochthonous cases as a result of the introduction. We applied mathematical modeling to estimate the number of dengue-viremic air passengers from 16 dengue-endemic countries to 27 European countries, taking into account the incidence of dengue in the exporting countries, travel volume and the probability of being viremic at the time of travel. Our models estimate a range from zero to 167 air passengers who are dengue-viremic at the time of travel from dengue endemic countries to each of the 27 receiving countries in one year. Germany receives the highest number of imported dengue-viremic air passengers followed by France and the United Kingdom. Our findings estimate 10 autochthonous secondary asymptomatic and symptomatic dengue infections, caused by the expected 124 infected travelers who arrived in Italy in 2012. The risk of onward transmission in Europe is reassuringly low, except where Aedes aegypti is present.

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