Thursday, October 01, 2020

Dengue ‘can be contracted from infected sexual partner’

Nov 16. 2019
Asadang Ruayajin
Asadang Ruayajin
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By THE NATION

A senior Thai official said it was possible to contract dengue fever through sex after Spanish authorities said a patient, 41, was found to have got the disease from his homosexual partner’s semen.

Department of Disease Control deputy governor and spokesman Asadang Ruayajin said on Friday (November 15) that it was possible for dengue to be contracted through sexual intercourse as the virus falls in the same group as Zika.

The Spanish man reportedly developed dengue fever despite never visiting any area prone to that disease. Authorities in Madrid said his partner had been infected by the virus during a visit to Cuba.

Reports said scientists found out only a year and half ago that the virus could live in semen, after a traveller returning from Thailand was examined.

Dengue fever is mainly contracted from the Aedes mosquito. Those infected suffer from high fever, bodyache, and sometimes stomach ache or diarrhoea, symptoms similar to influenza. “However, patients should not buy medicine without a doctor’s prescription as some medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin can cause internal organs to bleed easily,” Asadang added.

“Those who suffer from high fever for more than two days must see a doctor,” he said. “Besides, while the fever is decreasing, if there are symptoms like depression, anorexia, stomach ache, restless hands, cold feet, rapid and light pulse, nasal cavity bleeding or vomiting of blood, patients must be sent to a hospital as soon as possible as there could be a risk to their life.”

Asadang said to prevent dengue, breeding places of the Aedes mosquito should be eliminated. He said public health volunteers could play a crucial role by encouraging and instructing local people to eliminate breeding places of mosquitoes so as to prevent dengue.

“Moreover, the volunteers and concerned persons can survey and evaluate the risk of the disease from the density of Aedes larvae in each area,” said the deputy governor. “In addition, we have developed an online reporting system for their operation, which has already been used in some areas, and will expand to cover all areas of Thailand in the future.”

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