Dengue surges in Europe thanks to climate change

By Rory O’Neill | 06/12/2024 06:12 AM EDT

Invasive mosquitoes are spreading into previously unaffected areas.

LONDON — Rates of dengue are surging in Europe driven by climate change and the spread of mosquitoes, the EU’s disease agency has warned.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) found there were 130 locally acquired cases of dengue in the EU/EEA last year, compared with just 71 in the 10-year period between 2010 and 2021. Dengue symptoms include a high fever, headache, body aches, nausea and rash.

There were also 713 locally acquired human cases of West Nile virus and 67 deaths, from nine EU countries in 2023, including in many regions where infections had never been seen before. While this was lower than the previous year (1,133 cases), the ECDC is concerned at the wide geographical circulation of the virus.


The sharp rise is driven by climate change, which has created environmental conditions favorable to the growth of mosquito populations that carry these pathogens in Europe. A locally acquired case of West Nile virus was detected in Seville, Spain as early as the beginning of March this year.