PORTUGAL STANDS a good chance of providing a home to the deadly dengue mosquito thanks to global warming.
The alert was given by Portugal’s Director-General of Health, Francisco George last week. However, the government’s official health office did say that there is no evidence that the specific mosquito that carries the illness has been detected yet in Portugal.
Dengue fever is an acute febrile disease found in the tropics and Africa, as well as Brazil, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago and other South American countries.
It is caused by four closely related virus strains of the genus Flavivirus and is transmitted to humans by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which feeds during the day.
Symptoms of the disease, which runs a seven-day course, include severe headache, muscle and joint pains, fever, a red rash, followed by abdominal pains, sickness and diarrhoea.
Death is rare but in some cases patients develop Dengue Shock Syndrome which can often be fatal.
“There exists a moderate alert, however, no vector of transmission (i.e. the mosquito) has been detected in continental Portugal,” said Francisco George.
However, another specialist at the Institute of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, António Grácio, said that there was a risk that the mosquito could enter Portugal on board ships sailing between Madeira and Portugal.
Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]