Dengue Fever – Reunion

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Dengue fever in Reunion, five deaths and 1,626 confirmed cases in one week.

From April 26 to May 2, five deaths and 1,626 cases of dengue fever were confirmed. The dengue virus continues to circulate at a high level. More than 300 emergency visits were recorded during the week concerned. For the past two weeks, nearly 30% of people treated in emergencies have subsequently been hospitalized. The proportion of patients affected by a severe form remains higher than in previous years and is around 21%.

The western sector remains the most affected (nearly 70% of cases and outbreaks are highlighted in many municipalities in the North, particularly in Saint-Denis, and in the South).

Five deaths directly linked to dengue have occurred in recent days. Since the beginning of the year, 4 deaths have occurred suddenly after deterioration of the general state of health in young people (32 to 45 years old) and not presenting comorbidities known to be risk factors for severe forms.

 

Photo: Aedes aegypti or yellow fever mosquito.

The authorities recommend that people with dengue be vigilant and seek immediate medical attention in the event of suggestive symptoms. In addition, the population is reminded of the importance of eliminating breeding sites, consulting a doctor as soon as symptoms appear and protecting themselves from mosquito bites (repellents, mosquito nets, long clothing, etc.).

Since 1 January:

11,693 confirmed cases
352 hospitalizations
1,357 emergency room visits
10 deaths directly linked to dengue fever

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the dengue virus. Dengue is spread by several species of female mosquitoes but typically by a mosquito that has white markings on its legs and sides.

Dengue can exist anywhere that mosquitoes live and is fast becoming a global problem. As the world’s climate becomes warmer, the mosquito’s distribution has increased significantly in the past decades. Dengue is fast becoming a larger problem than malaria.

Symptoms may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into severe dengue, also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever. A later reinfection can also cause serious complications.

Controlling mosquito populations is the main way to prevent and reduce dengue. Wearing long-sleeved clothing and long trousers when outdoors is always a good idea. In countries where the disease is endemic, use mosquito netting over the bed if the bedroom is not air conditioned or screened.

The first record of a case of probable dengue fever is in a Chinese medical encyclopedia from the Jin Dynasty (265–420 AD) which referred to a “water poison” associated with flying insects. The primary mosquito vector, A. aegypti, spread out of Africa in the 15th to 19th centuries due in part to increased globalization secondary to the slave trade.

The origins of the Spanish word dengue are unknown, but it is possibly derived from “dinga” in Swahili, meaning a disease caused by an evil spirit.

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