Outbreak of native dengue in the Lodi area. “We are still investigating. Other cases have emerged from the screening we are doing. A bit like we expected. Now we are still waiting for the results of all the tests to have an overall picture of the situation. Cases have increased since the last update from the Higher Institute of Health and could rise further“. Taking stock of the activities underway in Castiglione d’Adda is Marino Faccini, director of the Department of Hygiene and Health Prevention of the Ats Milano Metropolitan City, interviewed by Adnkronos Salute.
“The people who we find positive at the screening – he explains – must still carry out other tests, because we only check the antibodies, which is not sufficient to be able to say that they have actually had the infection. This activity is being completed and the screening continues, but now there is sporadic access. The bulk has been done.” The latest update from the Higher Institute of Health gave on 12 September 14 cases confirmed in the area in question. In the meantime, Faccini reports, “we have already had other cases from the screening that have been confirmed. We are already above 14 and probably others will arrive, because not all are confirmed, but a certain number are. There are currently around twenty cases found ” in the province of Lodi. The starting case? “The certain fact – underlines the Ats expert – is that the cases we have had did not travel” to countries with endemic Dengue. So “a traveler who returned” with the virus “passed through those parts. We don’t know if he lives there or in other areas, but he started transmission” through mosquitoes. “Maybe she didn’t even have the clinical manifestation of the disease, because sometimes she is asymptomatic.” The only common feature among the cases detected through screening “is that they all live in the same town. A small town and in fact we have also had cases in the same street or in nearby streets, but it is normal because the mosquito is there. Therefore there are no family ties, in the sense that they do not belong to the same family unit or the same circle of friends. It is the mosquito – or rather the mosquitoes – that has struck more or less in the same area, but these people did not have between particular bonds between them”.
As for the analyzes on the insect front, “one trap had shown positive signs. It was expected, in the face of such a large outbreak”, continues Faccini. By broadening the lens, Is there any fact that is pushing up the Dengue cases globally? “The international situation is very different from ours – he points out – because Dengue has been endemic in many countries for a very long time. Countries that have a mosquito that is more effective in ours in transmitting the infection, while our tiger mosquito is capable of doing so, but in a less efficient way”.
“What has been recorded in recent years at a global level is an increase, and this can be linked to factors such as climatic ones: the population of mosquitoes is increasing – continues the expert from the Milanese ATS – and in addition there are population movements so in large urban agglomerations more people gather and in those countries this is actually the case. Here the situation is different because the cases had always been few in people returning from these countries. Now the outbreak has started, but there have been also other outbreaks in Europe, for example in France, Croatia, Portugal. So the problem here is that an outbreak can escape us, but generally it is limited at the moment.”
As regards the countermeasures taken, “many disinfestation interventions have been carried out here by the Municipality, but also by requests from private individuals. Because the problem of the mosquito – specifies Faccini – is that even individual homes can be hotbeds of proliferation, all it takes is a saucer with water and the conditions are created. So an intervention on the part of individuals is needed and the private part is more difficult to keep under control. Furthermore, there is also another problem: the mosquito takes about 10 days to be able to transmit infection, then there is incubation in humans which is another time. So this means that we can have cases even 20 days after the first. This is why it is possible that there are other confirmed infections” in area. “The screening has been extended, in the sense that if someone wants to take the test in the blood test center they can still do it, but the majority have already done so.” There will therefore be an increase in numbers, “but it will decrease”.
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