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Dengue, endemic cases are increasing in Italy. Mapping the Lodi outbreak

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I am 27 indigenous cases of dengue (so not related to travel to areas of the world endemic to the infection), confirmed by the Ministry of Health in Italy. The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) announced this today.

The indigenous cases

There are a total of 21 confirmed cases in Lodi County, 2 in Latina County and 4 in Rome County. All people affected by dengue, the so-called “bone-breaking fever” (so called because of the pain it can cause, ed) have been cured or improved. From the beginning of 2023, they will also be registered in Italy another 181 casesbut imported from other countries.
In particular, the analyzes continue from the largest outbreak, near Castiglione d’Adda in the Lodi area: “We are still waiting for the results of all investigations to have a general idea of ​​the situation. The cases could rise even further,” Marino Faccini, director of the Hygiene and Health Prevention Department of the Ats Milano Metropolis, told Adnkronos Salute.

Outbreak in a small town

How are indigenous cases transmitted in Italy? Dengue is not transmitted from person to person, but only from mosquito to human and vice versa. It is likely that the ‘patient zero’ of this outbreak had returned from a trip to countries with endemic dengue and transmission began by ‘infecting’ a mosquito. The common feature of the cases discovered through screening in the Lodi area is that of they all live in the same town, sometimes on the same street, but not necessarily in the same family. It is the infected mosquitoes that have spread in that particular area.

The problem of private housing

In Italy, the most effective mosquito in transmitting dengue, the Aedes aegypti, typical of tropical regions, is not present (in Europe it is only present on the island of Madeira and in an area of ​​the Black Sea), but dengue can also ( in a less efficient manner). tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) which has been present in Italy since 1990. The weapon to be used is disinfection and personal protection against mosquito bites. «The problem with the mosquito – Faccini confirms – is that too individual homes they can be hotbeds of proliferation, all you need is a saucer of water and the conditions are created. That is why intervention by individuals is necessary and the private part is more difficult to control.”

Symptoms: high and “strange” fever

If the infection has now spread to humans, it is important for general practitioners to monitor whether patients are affected by it high and strange fever, with severe pain and rash. They must learn to recognize it,” warns Massimo Andreoni, scientific director of the Italian Society for Infectious and Tropical Diseases (Simit) and professor of Infectious Diseases at Tor Vergata University of Rome, interviewed by Adnkronos Salute. A little less than a week after the bite, the following may appear: high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, sharp headache, nausea, vomiting. In extreme cases (1-5%) breathing difficulties and multi-organ failure may occur, in some cases fatal. However, dengue has a very low mortality rate, about 1% of cases, which however increases to 40% when the disease becomes complicated in the hemorrhagic form. In approximately 75% of cases the disease is asymptomatic and unnoticed. There is no specific treatment for dengue and in most cases for humans they heal completely in two weeks. A number of vaccines are currently being investigated.

Climate changes

Many scientists are convinced that dengue outbreaks will become more common in the coming years due to extreme weather conditions with frequent rain showers and humid weather. According to the WHO, the incidence of dengue is similar around the world has grown thirty times over the past fifty years: More than half the population is at risk and another billion people are expected to be exposed to the disease due to climate change.

Source: Corriere

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