A risk warning for dengue fever, sometimes referred to as the “neglected tropical disease”, was forced to be issued by health officials on the famous and wildly popular Spanish resort island of Ibiza. So far, the risk of infection with them is assessed as “low”, but the German and British media, including the Daily Mail newspaper, are already dispersing the topic of “infected German tourists.” And in the publications, the idea clearly slips that the island authorities deliberately underestimate the level of danger for tourists, so as not to scare potential vacationers and disrupt the upcoming summer tourist season. In general, it can be stated that the authorities of Ibiza are already in shock, and tourists are in a panic.
The reason for the claims being discussed was several confirmed cases in German tourists who were on the Spanish resort island during the incubation period last year. “Health officials in Germany (one of the main suppliers of tourists to the resort, we note) have warned Spain of two cases of dengue – a confirmed and a probable case – along with four cases with similar symptoms,” British experts say.
We are talking about a German tourist, a 27-year-old woman who spent a week in Ibiza in August 2022 with her partner and 13-month-old daughter. The family began to show symptoms, including fever, joint pain and a rash, after they returned to Germany. As a result, they were diagnosed with a “neglected tropical disease”. Also named as a likely case is a 37-year-old woman who was vacationing in Ibiza in the same city as the first case, along with her partner and nine-year-old son in October 2022. The symptoms in the family began to appear during the holidays. Only the mother applied to medical institutions, and the diagnosis of dengue fever was eventually made solely by the detection of IgM antibodies in the woman herself, the child and partner did not undergo the testing procedure.
Note that dengue and the fever-carrying Aedes Albopictus mosquito were first discovered in Ibiza in 2014, and since then it has been assumed that the virus “registered” on the island. However, in the aforementioned cases with the Germans, the version of the Spanish Ministry of Health blames the “imported” option – in their opinion, the null patient turned out to be a tourist who contracted dengue fever in Mexico, and he lived in the same area of u200bu200bIbiza as the two German families infected from him. “Due to the observation of imported cases, a probable index case was identified, which arrived from Mexico, whose symptoms began on August 11 and which remained in the same area in Ibiza as the two cases described between August 11 and 31,” the Ministry of Health explained.< /p>
“The authorities in the Balearic Islands have planned appropriate vector surveillance and control activities, as well as communication and citizen information, to be carried out prior to the start of the vector activity season and during this period,” the Ministry of Health officials added. They also clarified that while, during low activity of vectors – i.e. mosquitoes, the risk is considered low, then it can be reclassified as moderate, but for now, the authorities in the Balearic Islands say they are taking all steps to minimize the risks, including checks for the presence of the Aedes Albopictus mosquito, the tracking of the movements and locations of infected tourists, and the “implementation of strict surveillance and vector control plans” by the island's five city halls. What will come of this plan and what is the risk of a collapse of the season – time will tell.
The difficulty with “neglected infection”, dengue fever or “joint fever” is that 40 to 80% are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, which tourists write off as “colds” and “allergies”. However, dengue is a viral infection spread by mosquitoes. Usually it is brought from the tropical countries of Asia and the Caribbean. Symptoms of infection typically include high fever, severe headache and pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, as is evident from its second name, as well as a widespread rash and gastrointestinal problems. In most cases, the infection is mild and clears up in about a week. At the same time, as in the case of the “common” SARS, although dengue belongs to a different group of viruses, there is no cure or specific treatment, only symptom relief. However, the “risk groups” – as always, the frail and the elderly – have a risk of developing a severe form of dengue or hemorrhagic fever, in which there is a risk of bleeding, a drop in platelet levels and “leakage” of blood plasma, or dengue shock syndrome, in which blood pressure drops to dangerously low values.
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