Decoding: Can Dengue be Sexually-Transmitted? 

Decoding: Can Dengue be Sexually-Transmitted? 

Published
Fit
3 min read
Can dengue be spread through sexual contact? 

A strange and unprecedented case has us questioning what we thought we knew about dengue and its transmission.

Dengue is a vector-borne virus that spreads through the bite of an infected mosquito. Right? Well, mostly yes but in a rare case from Spain, a 41-year-old man seems to have contracted the dengue virus from sexual-transmission.

FIT spoke to a few experts to help explain the case and clarify if we should collectively panic or not.

Dr Amitabh Parti, director of Internal Medicine at Fortis Memorial Hospital said,

Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, a senior consultant of internal medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals added, “From our teachings, studies and the cases we have seen, there has never been the possibility of human-human transfer of the virus. It needs a vector as it is vector-borne.”

“I don’t know any case like this,” he said.

Explaining Vector-Borne Diseases

A vector-borne disease is one that is carried by vectors — living organisms that can transmit infectious diseases. According to the WHO, most vectors are “blood-sucking insects that ingest disease-producing microorganisms during a blood meal from an infected host (human or animal) and later inject it into a new host during their subsequent blood meal.”

Sounds familiar? A very common disease vector is a mosquito, and the dengue virus is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.

According to Dr Amitabh Parti, the Infectious Diseases of Atlanta certified dengue as vector-borne since there is a lack of evidence so far that it can be transmitted in other ways.

So there's no need to panic yet? “Not until there is more evidence of this,” he assures.

Meanwhile, New Dengue Vaccine May Soon Help Eliminate the Problem

So far there are no vaccines or specific treatments for the virus - there are medicines that help treat and ease the symptoms instead. Therefore prevention is the most important step.

Decoding: Can Dengue be Sexually-Transmitted? 
Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for dengue fever.

However, there may be a new dengue vaccine called Dengvaxia in the works that will be ready in 2021. The FDA approved this in May 2019 and the last phase of the trial is underway in South-East Asia.

So there is solid hope for complete eradication of the disease but for now, Dr Patri says, “Prevention efforts are going well and this new vaccine will help.”

(Delhi is in a public health emergency. The air outside is visibly toxic - how has the hazardous air #pollution impacted you? Write down your #PollutionKaSolution and send it to us at FIT@thequint.com. )

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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