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82 cases in 2023, growing risks

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82 cases in 2023, growing risks

Italy Takes Action Against Dengue Fever with Tightened Controls and Vaccine Supplies

As cases of Dengue fever continue to rise, especially in Brazil and Argentina, Italy is taking proactive measures to combat the spread of the disease. The Ministry of Health has raised the alert level in ports and airports, aiming to prevent the arrival of the yellow fever mosquito, the main carrier of the virus that causes Dengue fever. In addition to the heightened surveillance, Italy has stocked up on vaccine supplies. Two vaccines, Dengvaxia and Qdeng, have been approved in the country.

The World Health Organization (OMS) has classified Dengue fever as one of the top ten threats to global health due to the significant increase in cases, especially in South America. In Brazil, the number of infections surged from around 130,000 in 2023 to over half a million in 2024, while Argentina is also experiencing an explosive epidemic.

In response to the growing threat, Italy has strengthened controls at ports and airports and replenished its vaccine supplies. The vaccines Dengvaxia and Qdeng, produced by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda, offer full-spectrum immunization to prevent serious illness caused by the four serotypes of the Dengue virus. Dengvaxia is recommended for individuals between 6 and 45 years old, while Qdeng is approved for all age groups over 4 years.

Dengue fever, also known as “broken bone fever,” can lead to potentially fatal conditions such as hemorrhagic fever, shock, and respiratory distress. With no specific antiviral treatment available, vaccination is a crucial tool in preventing the most serious consequences of the disease.

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Italy, which is home to the Aedes genus of mosquitoes capable of transmitting Dengue fever, is at risk of localized outbreaks, particularly with the increasing impact of climate change. The country experienced localized outbreaks in 2023, with the potential for more cases to arise from travelers returning infected from endemic countries. As a result, Italy has taken proactive measures to ensure it is well-equipped to prevent and combat the spread of Dengue fever within its borders.

The arrival of the yellow fever mosquito, the main vector of Dengue, in Italy poses a significant risk, emphasizing the importance of having stocks of vaccine and implementing control measures at airports. The efforts to strengthen controls and replenish vaccine supplies demonstrate Italy’s commitment to protecting its population from the threat of Dengue fever.

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