What to know about dengue as cases spread to new places | ET REALITY


Cases of dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease that can be fatal, are increasing around the world. The surge is occurring both in places that have long struggled with the disease and in areas where its spread was unheard of until the last year or two, including France, Italy and Chad, in central Africa. Last week, health officials in Pasadena, California, reported a first case of locally transmitted dengue.

Dengue, a viral fever, is transmitted by the Aedes species of mosquito. It can cause excruciating joint pain; It is also known by the grim nickname “bone-breaking fever.”

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which has caused many of the current outbreaks, is native to Africa, where it originally lived in forests and preyed on animals. But decades ago it spread to the rest of the world via trade routes and adapted to thrive in urban areas, feeding on people and reproducing in small pieces of water trapped in places like old tires, discarded bottle caps and trays used to collect air. . the conditioner drips.

Now, as more people move to urban areas (many to lower-quality housing in developing countries), they are more vulnerable to the virus. And climate change is driving the mosquito to new places, where it thrives.

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