The ECDC ELDSNet surveillance scheme on travel-associated Legionnaires’ disease (TALD) observed an increase in the number of cases associated with travel to Dubai in the last quarter of 2016, compared with previous years (Figure 1). Since 2011, an annual increase of 40% has been reported in the number of TALD cases associated with Dubai; the doubling of cases observed in October and November 2016 (compared with 2014 and 2015) led to an ECDC rapid risk assessment, which was published on 23 December 2016.
As of 17 January 2017, 33 TALD cases with a history of travel to Dubai within 2–10 days of onset of illness and onset since 1 October 2016 have been reported to ECDC from seven EU Member States (Figure 1). Thirty cases associated with commercial accommodation sites were reported through the ELDSNet TALD surveillance scheme. Although private accommodation sites are not part of this surveillance scheme, three cases associated with stays in private accommodation sites in Dubai during this period were identified and reported by the United Kingdom.
Cases were reported by the United Kingdom (16 cases), Sweden (5), the Netherlands (4), France (3), Denmark (2), Germany (2) and Belgium (1). The delay between week of onset and week of reporting to ELDSNet is around two weeks on average, ranging from one to six weeks. Therefore, the number of cases reported in the past six weeks (Figure 1) may be underestimated.