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Dengue fever cases in Ibiza prompts warning to tourists from Spanish health officials

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People planning to travel to Ibiza over the summer are being warned of an increased risk of dengue fever after an outbreak on the Spanish island. 

Health officials have issued an alert to say the usual “low” risk rises to “moderate” between May and November.

The alert comes after six German tourists were infected while visiting the Balearic island between August and November last year.

A 27-year-old woman tested positive after visiting Ibiza for a week in August 2022 with her partner and one-year-old daughter.

All three had symptoms including fever, joint pain and rash but only the woman was tested.

A 37-year-old woman, her partner and nine-year-old son who travelled to the same town in October were also probable cases.

The Spanish authorities believe the index case for the outbreak that affected the German tourists was a Spanish holidaymaker who had travelled to Mexico and went to Ibiza on his way home to Madrid.

The man started having symptoms – fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting – on 11 August, the day he arrived in Ibiza.

The current risk of catching dengue fever in Ibiza is classed as low until May, the Health and Emergencies Coordination Centre, under the Spanish Ministry of Health, said.

The summer months see the greatest amount of mosquito activity – coinciding with the biggest influx of tourists.

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Dengue is spread by infected mosquitos and causes symptoms similar to the flu, according to the NHS.

Symptoms normally start four to ten days after infection and include a high temperature, severe headache, joint pain, being sick and a blotchy rash.

It’s not usually serious and often gets better on its own – however some people get a more severe type of dengue, the NHS website says.

It is not found in the UK and cannot be caught from another person.

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