Virus: Greek dies of dengue fever



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First fatality in Greece: dengue fever continues to spread

An 84-year-old Greek is very likely to have died of dengue. The infectious disease had been detected in a first blood sample from the man. In mid-August, the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM) in Düsseldorf had warned vacationers in Australia, Thailand and Brazil of dengue fever, which is spreading strongly in these countries. Greece has not been affected so far. The main carrier of the disease is the Asian tiger mosquito.

Clear evidence of dengue fever is no longer possible "Although this is the first suspected case of viral infection, the Greek authorities take the possible recurrence of the disease very seriously in the country," explains Dr. Tomas Jelinek, Scientific Director of CRM. The background to this is the devastating dengue epidemic that raged in Greece in 1927/28, in which around one million people became infected and around 1,000 fatalities were lost. Since the local extinction of the mosquito, there has been no further death in Greece.

The 84-year-old man died of the infectious disease on August 30. How the Greek infected the virus has not yet been clearly clarified. He is said to have been in the region of the western Greek city of Agrinion on the Ionian Sea and infected. "He had all the symptoms. In addition, laboratory testing of the first blood draw showed that it was dengue, ”said Athanasios Tsagris of the Greek Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO).

For a clear diagnosis, the virus would have to be detected in a second blood sample from the man. So far it has been a so-called “probable case”, the international term for this type of case, reports Tsagris, who is also a professor of microbiology at the University of Athens. “To put it another way, as with the doping control, the first control was rated positively. Because the man died, however, you can no longer test the second blood test. "

Dengue fever is often brought in by holidaymakers. Dengue fever is an infectious disease and is caused by the dengue virus, which is transmitted in tropical and subtropical areas primarily by the Asian tiger mosquito, a species of mosquito. The yellow fever mosquito can also transmit dengue. Due to global warming and increasing globalization, experts expect the spread of its vector and thus the disease. The CRM sees the reason for the increasing spread, "that the very adaptable transmission mosquito through the worldwide trade and tourism traffic reaches and settles in more and more countries." Dengue is the fastest spreading and mosquito-borne viral infectious disease worldwide. Neither a vaccine nor successful antiviral therapy for the disease has been developed to date.

Signs of dengue fever include high fever after the infection, along with flu-like symptoms such as joint and limb pain. In rare, severe courses of the disease, internal bleeding, the so-called dengue shock syndrome (DSS) and even the patient's death can occur. However, dengue fever often remains undetected due to its non-specific symptoms.

Cases of dengue fever also occur in Germany. As a rule, holidaymakers introduce the virus as an “unwanted souvenir” from long-distance trips. Cases also occurred in southern France and Croatia in 2010. The CRM strongly advises travelers in regions where dengue occurs to protect themselves from mosquito bites. “Mosquito repellents for application to the skin should contain the active ingredient DEET (diethyl-m-toluamide) in a concentration of over 30 percent. Since the tiger mosquito is mainly active during the day, travelers should also wear light-colored and closed clothing, ”says a CRM press release.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dengue fever is now one of the most dangerous infectious diseases, affecting 50 to 100 million people worldwide each year. The disease is fatal in about 2.5 percent of cases. (ag)

Read on:
Dengue fever in many vacation countries
Genetic mosquitoes are said to prevent dengue fever
Dengue fever: With bacteria against viruses
Climate change: dengue fever reaches Europe

Author and source information


Video: Woman dies from dengue fever at Chittoor


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