Dengue will spread to Europe, the USA and Africa this decade, warns a World Health Organization expert. According to him, countries must properly prepare for the arrival of dengue, because it will pose a significant burden on hospitals.
Dengue is a disease known mainly from tropical regions. It is transmitted by mosquitoes, primarily Egyptian mosquitoes. Climate change, as well as urbanization and the movement of people, however, increase the range of its occurrence and the deadly toll it brings. Jeremy Farrar, infectious disease expert at the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in an interview with Reuters that dengue would be a huge threat to residents of the southern regions USA, Europe and other African regions later this decade. According to him, it will probably become an endemic disease in these areas, i.e. a disease that occurs permanently.
Dengue will pose a threat to Europe
Farrar emphasized that the spread of dengue is due to rising temperatures and the fact that, as a result, more regions have a climate friendly to the mosquitoes that spread the disease. He stressed that in many countries, dengue will pose a significant burden on hospitals. – Clinical care (of dengue patients – ed.) is very intensive. It requires a high number of nurses compared to the number of patients – he pointed out.
According to him, appropriate prevention should include, among others: plans to separate sick patients in hospitals from others, scientific innovations, but also urban planning – so that houses are not built near reservoirs with standing water, where mosquitoes can breed. – We need to connect different sectors that have not been used to cooperation so far – he said. – We need to talk about dengue more proactively. We really need to prepare countries to cope with the additional pressure that will appear in many large cities in the future, he emphasized.
Dengue – what are the symptoms?
The main symptoms of dengue include very high fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, as well as a characteristic rash. Sometimes life-threatening hemorrhagic fever occurs. There is no cure for dengue, so only its symptoms are treated. At the same time, many people who get dengue have no symptoms at all. Reuters notes that because of this, the total number of cases of the disease remains underestimated. In 2022, 4.2 million cases of dengue were confirmed worldwide. According to Reuters, the disease causes 20,000 cases in the Asia-Latin America region alone. deaths per year. Currently heavy the situation is in Bangladeshwhere over a thousand people have died from dengue since the beginning of this year, and the total number of sick people is 200,000.
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