First case of sexually transmitted Dengue confirmed in Spain

A case concerning a 41-yearold man from Madrid, Spain spreading dengue through sexual contact was confirmed by Spanish health authorities. This is the world first ever instance to be reported of the dengue virus spreading through sexual contact which until recently was thought to be transmitted only by mosquitoes.

Case Highlights

The man concerned in this case contracted dengue after having sex with his male partner who picked up the virus from a mosquito bite during a trip to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. His dengue infection was confirmed in September 2019 and it puzzled doctors because he had not travelled to a country or not even resided in an area which was known to have reported cases of fever before.

However since his partner presented the same symptoms as him and had previously visited Cuba, the analysis of their sperm carried out by health authorities revealed that not only did both of them have dengue but it was exactly the same dengue virus which circulates in Cuba.

Later, the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an European Union (EU) agency which monitors health and disease in Europe, notified that to their knowledge, this is the first sexual transmission of the dengue virus.

About Dengue fever

It is caused by one of the five serotypes or strains of the dengue virus. Until now the virus has only been known to be transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito.

Vector: Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Incubation Period: following exposure to virus is anywhere between 3 to 5 days.

Most Common Symptoms: high-grade fever, joint pain, muscle pain and general fatigue.

There is no vaccine against the virus, as a result of which treatment is largely based on controlling symptoms an individual has.

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