Which dengue fever is dangerous?

Tiger mosquitoes Dengue infections are on the rise


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The tiger mosquito is found in more and more countries - it can transmit dengue fever. The disease is still underestimated, but its potential is as deadly as that of malaria.

Status: 07/13/2020

The dengue virus is one of the fastest spreading pathogens: 100 to 400 million diseases occur worldwide that are transmitted by the diurnal tiger mosquitoes. Laos, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia and Brazil are considered risk areas.

Exotic mosquitoes in Germany

We also see the tiger mosquito again and again - mostly only in single copies and without the dangerous viruses in our luggage. But it is only a matter of time before the dengue virus has worked its way into our latitudes and the first person in this country is infected by an infected mosquito. The tiger mosquito is already at home in central to southern Italy and in greenhouses in the Netherlands.

The tiger mosquito is spreading rapidly across the globe.

Dengue fever has symptoms similar to malaria, so the disease is often not properly diagnosed - and not treated properly. Dengue fever is much more difficult to detect than malaria: extensive laboratory diagnostics are required to make a reliable diagnosis. The malaria pathogen, on the other hand, can be identified with just a drop of blood under the microscope.

There are four types of dengue, both of which are transmitted by mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti, also called tiger mosquito). If one is immune to one of the four types due to an illness, this does not apply to the other three. Most initial infections are mild: sick adults get a high fever, severe headache, muscle and joint pain, often accompanied by a characteristic rash on the body. The acute phase usually ends after five to seven days, but recovery can take weeks.

Dangerous secondary infection

A second infection with the dengue virus, on the other hand, can be dangerous. There is a risk of internal bleeding. For example, this can have life-threatening consequences in the event of operations and undetected illness. In order to prevent severe courses in the event of repeated infections, it is essential to take adequate precautions - especially if you travel to endangered areas several times.

Children are particularly at risk

Young children who live in tropical areas and contract dengue fever are particularly at risk: 15 percent of them die.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a dangerous form of dengue fever. In extreme cases, it can also lead to a life-threatening shock. Severe cases are accompanied by internal bleeding or circulatory failure. These occur mainly in children under five years of age - they are at the highest risk of developing the disease - and in patients who have been repeatedly infected.

There is no vaccination and no special drug that works against the viruses - with dengue fever, you can only alleviate the symptoms. With good medical care, however, the chances of recovery are very good. If you travel to endangered areas, you should rub yourself sufficiently with mosquito repellent and spray your clothing: Since the tiger mosquitoes, unlike the malaria mosquitoes, are active during the day, it is essential to ensure adequate protection against mosquitoes during the day.