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Dengue Cases on the Rise in Italy: Experts Call for Increased Attention and Diagnosis

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Dengue Cases on the Rise in Italy: Experts Call for Increased Attention and Diagnosis

Dengue Cases on the Rise in Italy, Experts Urge Vigilance

Rome, 18 September 2023 – The rapid increase in Dengue cases in Italy has raised concerns among experts, who are now calling for doctors to exercise greater caution in their diagnoses.

According to the latest bulletin from the Istituto Superiore dei Sanità (ISS), there have been a total of 165 cases of Dengue reported across the country. Infections in the Lazio region have seen a significant rise, reaching 28 cases, while Lombardy has already recorded 50 cases. “We need to acknowledge that Chikungunya, West Nile, and Dengue are endemic diseases in Italy, posing a significant health problem as they can even be fatal in some cases. The increase in Dengue cases, especially in Lazio and Rome, demonstrates how the movement of people through travel contributes to the introduction of infections, as individuals carry the virus with them. It is crucial for family doctors to be vigilant for symptoms such as high fever, severe pain, and skin rash, which could indicate Dengue,” warns Massimo Andreoni, an infectious disease specialist.

Explaining how the virus is transmitted, Andreoni, the scientific director of the Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (Simit) and a professor of infectious diseases at the Tor Vergata University of Rome, highlighted the high probability of tourist destinations like Rome attracting individuals carrying the virus, leading to the establishment of local outbreaks. This is facilitated by the presence of the Aedes mosquito, which bites an infected person and then passes on the virus to another individual.

With the arrival of fall, there is hope that the situation might improve. “These mosquitoes are sensitive to temperature changes compared to others, so the drop in temperature could help in reducing the mosquito population,” Andreoni mentioned.

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Recognizing the symptoms of Dengue, Andreoni emphasized that the disease presents with a severe fever, osteoarticular pain, and, in some cases, even respiratory distress.

Diagnosing Dengue requires a specific blood test, which is usually conducted in specialized centers. However, Andreoni urged family doctors to be attentive to the uncommon nature of the disease. “While in the past, diseases that seemed exotic and far from us were not extensively covered during medical studies, today they are prevalent and will become increasingly common,” he cautions.

The recent surge in Dengue cases serves as a reminder for healthcare professionals and the public to remain cautious and stay vigilant in order to prevent the further spread of this endemic disease.

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