Home » symptoms, treatment and vaccine in Italy against “bone-breaking fever” – breaking latest news

symptoms, treatment and vaccine in Italy against “bone-breaking fever” – breaking latest news

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symptoms, treatment and vaccine in Italy against “bone-breaking fever” – breaking latest news

The level of alarm and vigilance has risen in Italy after cases have increased in various areas of the world: but how do you contract dengue, how do you understand that you are ill, and how do you treat yourself?

The director general of Prevention of the Ministry of Health, Francesco Vaia, has ordered an increase in vigilance on dengue in Italy, due to the increase in cases in various areas of the world, in particular in Brazil and Argentina. But what is dengue? How can you contract this disease? Is it contagious? And how do you treat yourself?

What is dengue? How do you take it?

Dengue, also called “bone-breaking fever”, is a tropical infectious disease caused by four variants of the same virus that is transmitted through mosquito bites.

The most effective mosquito in transmission is the Aedes aegypti, typical of tropical regions (it does not exist in Italy, in Europe it is present only on the island of Madeira and in an area of ​​the Black Sea) but also the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) already reported in all of southern Europe and present in Italy since 1990 can contribute to the contagion, albeit in a less effective way.

Unfortunately, having contracted dengue only protects the person against the virus that caused it but not against the other three viral types, so one can get sick several times. There is no direct contagion between humans, even if humans are the main host of the virus.

The virus circulates in the blood of the infected person for 2-7 days, and in this period the mosquito can pick it up and transmit it to others.

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To be transmitted, the disease therefore requires mosquitoes (which bite an infected person): since it is not transmitted from person to person it is easier to block the transmission chain.

Symptoms of dengue

Symptoms may appear just under a week after the bite:
– high fever,
— severe headaches,
— muscle pain,
— acute headaches,
— nausea,
– vomit.

In extreme cases (1-5%) breathing difficulties and multi-organ failure may occur, in some cases fatal.

Dengue has a very low mortality rate, around 1% of cases, which however rises to 40% when the disease becomes complicated in the haemorrhagic form.

In approximately 75% of cases the disease is asymptomatic and goes unnoticed. This happens at least with the first infection, while a second infection can trigger heavy immune reactions that can result in bleeding.

Diagnosis is normally made based on symptoms, but can be more accurate by looking for the virus or specific antibodies in blood samples.

How is dengue treated?

There is no specific therapy for Dengue but only drugs to combat the symptoms, for example antipyretics and rehydration treatments.

A live attenuated recombinant tetravalent vaccine has recently become available that is effective against all four serotypes of the virus. The vaccine against dengue fever will be available from next week at the Spallanzani hospital in Rome and in other centers specialized in tropical diseases where it will be possible to obtain it at the user’s expense.

The vaccine is also available to those who have not had previous exposure to the virus.

It can be administered to subjects from 4 years of age and 2 doses are sufficient to achieve immunization.

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But how widespread is dengue in Italy?

In recent years, 100-150 annual cases of imported Dengue have occurred, but in 2023 there were 362 cases, of which 82 indigenous cases in specific areas (only one victim), in particular in Lombardy and Lazio.

This increase in indigenous cases, in areas where the disease is not as entrenched as Italy, may be linked to climate change, increased mosquito circulation and flooding, which favor mosquito growth.

France had already reported three outbreaks of indigenously transmitted Dengue fever in 2022, confirming that the disease is spreading to previously virgin areas of the globe.

According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of Dengue has increased 30 times in the world in the last 50 years: more than half of the world‘s population is at risk and it is expected that due to climate change another billion people will be exposed to illness.

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February 14, 2024 (modified February 14, 2024 | 2:04 pm)

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