On Friday, health authorities of Spain confirmed a case of dengue that was transmitted through sex. A world first.

Since everybody thought that mosquitoes are the only carriers of the Dengue virus that are capable of spreading it, the emergence of this information came as a shock, especially to the people in the field of medicine.


First ever case involved a 41-year-old man from the Spanish city of Madrid.

According to an authority of the Madrid region's public health department, Susana Jimenez, the man contracted the virus after having sex with his male partner who had the virus from a mosquito bite during a trip to Cuba.

"His partner presented the same symptoms as him but lighter around ten days earlier, and he had previously visited Cuba and the Dominican Republic," she explained.

"An analysis of their sperm was carried out and it revealed that not only did they have dengue but that it was exactly the same virus which circulates in Cuba." Jimenez continued.

The infection was confirmed in September. The discovery puzzled the doctors because the infected man had not traveled to a country where the disease, which causes severe flu-like symptoms such as high fever and body aches, is common, Jimenez said.

A case almost the same as this was the subject of a recent scientific article in South Korea, but between a man and a woman, Jimenez said.

In an e-mail sent to AFP, the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which monitors health and disease in Europe, said this was "to our knowledge, the first sexual transmission of the dengue virus among men who have sex with men."

World Health Organization's website seems to be unupdated yet as according to it, dengue is transmitted mainly by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which thrives in densely-populated tropical climates and breeds in stagnant pools of water.

It is not unknown to many that Dengue is commonly caught by people travelling to hotter climates such as southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, the Caribbean and South and Central America.

It is more deadly, however, in children, especially young girls, of which the scientists, until today, don't know why.



Source: ABS-CBN


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