Dengue Current Affairs - 2019

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Kolkata becomes first City to Install ‘Third Umpire’ RT-PCR Machines in India

In a bid towards upholding state’s public health the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has installed first of its kind high-end Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) Machines in India for quick detection of diseases such as dengue, tuberculosis (TB) and swine flu.

About RT-PCR Machines

As the Kolkata city continues to record a sharp rise in cases of mosquito-borne diseases, the KMC aims to identify the root causes of diseases such as dengue through RT-PCR Machines. The objective is to give accurate DNA report on blood tests in order to ascertain the exact cause of illness.

These machines will serve as a ‘third umpire’ in situations when medical reports and blood tests reveal contradictory results. The machine will provide the exact cause of illness without any room for doubts. The tests conducted through these machines will be free of cost.

In the initial stages of project, four machines have been installed in Hatbagan in North Kolkata, Jadavpur, Behala and at Haji Mohammad Mohsin Square in central part of city.

First case of sexually transmitted Dengue confirmed in Spain

A case concerning a 41-yearold man from Madrid, Spain spreading dengue through sexual contact was confirmed by Spanish health authorities. This is the world first ever instance to be reported of the dengue virus spreading through sexual contact which until recently was thought to be transmitted only by mosquitoes.

Case Highlights

The man concerned in this case contracted dengue after having sex with his male partner who picked up the virus from a mosquito bite during a trip to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. His dengue infection was confirmed in September 2019 and it puzzled doctors because he had not travelled to a country or not even resided in an area which was known to have reported cases of fever before.

However since his partner presented the same symptoms as him and had previously visited Cuba, the analysis of their sperm carried out by health authorities revealed that not only did both of them have dengue but it was exactly the same dengue virus which circulates in Cuba.

Later, the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an European Union (EU) agency which monitors health and disease in Europe, notified that to their knowledge, this is the first sexual transmission of the dengue virus.

About Dengue fever

It is caused by one of the five serotypes or strains of the dengue virus. Until now the virus has only been known to be transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito.

Vector: Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Incubation Period: following exposure to virus is anywhere between 3 to 5 days.

Most Common Symptoms: high-grade fever, joint pain, muscle pain and general fatigue.

There is no vaccine against the virus, as a result of which treatment is largely based on controlling symptoms an individual has.