Imported cases of this disease transmitted by mosquito bites and caused by a virus of the Flavivirus genus (includes yellow fever virus and West Nile fever virus) are increasing. Vaccine approved by Aifa
There Dengue the most important disease transmitted by mosquitoes in the world, with an incidence that has increased 30 times in the last 50 years. More than 400 million cases are estimated every year, the majority of which are in Asian countries, followed by Central and South America. In the last few years Imported dengue cases are also increasingwith rare autochthonous cases (in people who have not traveled to endemic areas) in countries such as Italy, where the disease is not endemic.
What is Dengue?
It’s about a infectious disease caused by a virus of the Flavivirus genuswhich includes the virus yellow fever and that of Nile fever Western, all infections transmitted by mosquito bites – explains Nicola Petrosillo, infectious disease specialist responsible for the infection prevention and control service of the Campus-Biomedico University Polyclinic Foundation, Rome -. I am there are four viral subtypes that cause Dengue. After infection with one subtype you become immune to it, but not to the others, so you can get sick again and subsequent infections with other serotypes increase the risk of developing the severe form of the disease.
How widespread in Italy?
In recent years, 100-150 cases of imported Dengue have occurred annually, but this year we arrived at more than 260 cases, of which 49 indigenous cases in specific areas, in particular in Lombardy and Lazio, where a person with Dengue from an endemic country stayed. This increase in indigenous cases, in areas where the disease is not as established as Italycould be linked to climate changeto the increase in the circulation of mosquitoes and to everything that has happened in recent months, in particular the floods, which can favor the growth of mosquitoes.
In that 20 percent of cases in which d symptomsusually causes fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and intense muscle and joint pain. The problem arises from that small percentage (between 0.5 and 5 percent) of symptomatic cases in which the infection can manifest itself in a serious form following damage to the small vessels with loss of fluids and hemorrhagic complications in various organs with consequent sometimes fatal.
Now there is also a vaccine
There is no specific therapy for Dengue but only medications to counteract symptomsfor example the antipyretics and rehydrating treatments.
Now there is a vaccine, recently approved by the Italian Medicines Agency. It is a recombinant live attenuated tetravalent vaccine effective against all four serotypes of the virus. It can be given from four years of age with a two-dose schedule, sufficient to achieve immunization. It has proven to be a valid prophylactic tool capable of preventing infection and the consequent risk of hospitalization, regardless of previous exposure to the virus, reports Petrosillo. There vaccination suitable for those who, for tourism or work, travel to tropical and subtropical areas where Dengue is endemic. They should get vaccinated also immigrants who live in Italy when they return to their country of origin to avoid serious forms in case of reinfection.
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The doctor answers
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November 13, 2023 (modified November 13, 2023 | 08:12)
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