What do I need to know before I travel?
Public Health Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

Increasing Risk of Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe

30 Jun 2023

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has warned of an increasing risk of mosquito-borne diseases in Europe. 

  • Aedes mosquitoes, which transmit infections such as chikungunya, dengue fever, West Nile virus and Zika virus infection are now found in: Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Moldova, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.
  • West Nile virus is also transmitted by Culex mosquitoes which are widespread in Europe.

In 2022, there were 1,133 cases (including 92 deaths) of West Nile virus disease reported from the following countries: Italy, Greece, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, France, Spain, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

In addition, in 2022, there were outbreaks of dengue fever in France and Spain with 71 cases in total.

Chikungunya and Zika viruses have also been transmitted in European countries in recent years.

Advice for Travellers

All travellers to regions where infections spread by mosquitoes are present are potentially at risk of becoming infected. Avoiding mosquito bites is the only method of reducing your risk of infection. Mosquito bites can happen at any time of night or day.

You need to protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites at all times of the day and night.

Symptoms from infections spread by mosquitoes can vary, ranging from having no symptoms, or mild symptoms such as high temperature (fever) and/or flu-like illness, to developing severe illness.

No vaccines are yet available in the UK against chikungunya, zika virus or West Nile virus or dengue fever.

After Travel

If you or anyone in your family become unwell with a high fever and/or any other symptoms either during or on return from travel abroad, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, and make sure you mention your recent travel history.