Fear of dengue fever is growing on Lake Garda. Within a few days, two people showed the typical symptoms of the disease, and the government promptly responded with a number of protective measures. Among other things, insecticides are used in the affected communities of Manerba and Padenghenun. Residents and vacationers are also asked to avoid still waters, as this is where the tiger mosquito that transmits the virus resides. We tell you what else you should know about the virus.

Classically, the virus is recognized by three symptoms that occur simultaneously: fever, rash and headache, body or joint pain. In rare cases, internal bleeding and shock can also occur.

With today’s healthcare, most cases are easily treatable. This means that there are rarely long-term consequences. In 1.5 percent of infections there is a severe course that can lead to death. With early detection, however, the mortality rate drops below 1 percent.

The best protection against infection is a reliable mosquito repellent. The virus is transmitted by infected tiger or yellow fever mosquitoes. So if you prevent a bite with mosquito repellent, you also protect yourself from dengue fever. You can also avoid still waters and wear a mosquito net.

A vaccination against dengue fever is recommended if you often travel to tropical areas, because the mosquitoes that transmit it are particularly active there. There are currently two approved vaccines against the virus in Europe, which since February 2023 you can have injected by your family doctor or a tropical medicine doctor, even while on vacation.

In Germany, 600 to 800 cases of dengue fever are reported every year. In most cases, those affected have stayed in a tropical or subtropical holiday destination beforehand and brought the virus home with them. For comparison: There were 50 cases of fever throughout Italy this year. In general, the virus occurs mainly in countries with a warm climate, especially in cities.

So far, the infections at Lake Garda have been isolated cases. The Federal Foreign Office has long pointed out that isolated infections can occur in Italy. There is therefore currently no travel warning. As long as the situation does not worsen and you pay attention to a good mosquito repellent, there is nothing wrong with the trip.

Sources: South Tyrol News, Tropical Institute, Federal Ministry for Social Affairs and Health