Can dengue fever be transmitted sexually?

May 16th is observed as National Dengue Day in India  to raise awareness about this dreaded mosquito borne disease.  Dengue fever is a viral disease, mostly spread through the bite of mosquitoes, particularly by aedes aegypti mosquito.

I have already written an exhaustive post about dengue fever, it's prevention and home-remedies and measures to be followed if one contracts dengue and is recuperating. The post Convalescence - the recovery period after illness might also be helpful for anyone who's recovering from vector  borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya , malaria or for that matter any other illness also. So do glance through that too.

dengue mosquito

Myths associated with sex for dengue cure

Now there are several myths associated with dengue fever. One of them is that sexual intercourse during dengue can increase the platelet count in the blood. This is absolutely false as there's no scientific basis or proof for this. In fact, it's better if one avoids sex  during this period.

Avoid sex when you have dengue fever

Of course, when a person is down with a dreaded disease such as dengue, thinking of sex itself is a difficult proposition. But even then, avoiding sex is better when one has contracted dengue or is recovering.

Earlier it was believed that unlike Zika, dengue could not be transmitted through sexual intercourse.

However a new study has found that dengue fever could be spread through sex as scientists discover the mosquito virus in the semen of an Italian man who had recovered.

pics of couple sleeping, dengue mosquito and medicines

The study, published in journal Eurosurveillance, documented the case of an Italian man in his 50s diagnosed with dengue fever after returning from Thailand in January.

He was otherwise healthy but suffered from joint pain, fatigue and nausea during the illness.

The man was admitted to the National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome after feeling ill for nine days. 

He recovered and traces of the virus had disappeared from his blood and urine after 23 days, but it was still present in his semen after 37 days. All traces had disappeared from his body by day 55.

The discovery led scientists to think the virus could be transmitted by sexual intercourse, in the same way the ZIKA virus is known to do. 

Previously it was believed that the virus was normally transmitted through a biting insect such as a mosquito or a tick, though some medical procedures and breast feeding could also spread the virus.

Researchers said: 'To our knowledge, the presence and persistence of DENV [dengue fever] in the male genital tract has never been reported so far.

'Our findings highlight the possibility of sexual transmission of DENV that could play a role in the spreading of infection in non-endemic areas. 

However the researchers add that more studies are required to confirm that dengue could possibly spread through sex. 

Final Note

However to be on the safer side, it is not wise to have sex when you are down with dengue fever or are recovering. Even after you have recovered from the fever, since the virus can be in the body fluids like semen for around 2 months, it's better to avoid sex up to 3 months.

Currently, there are no vaccines to prevent dengue. Only thing you have to do is avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. It's not an easy task, but you should do your best to prevent breeding of mosquitoes in the vicinity.

Do not allow water to stagnate near your houses. Protect yourself from people infected with dengue. Use mosquito repellents as and when needed. Cover yourself properly when you step outdoors and apply mosquito repellant creams over exposed areas and  use fabric roll-ons on your clothes.

So what  do you do to prevent mosquito borne illnesses? Did you ever suffer from dengue fever? If yes, how did you cope up with it? Do share what all you did during the recovery period?

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1 comment:

  1. Shravani2:49 PM

    there could be a chance of transmitting the virus sexually even after the person carrying the virus has got better


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