Sporadic dengue fever cases have been recorded in Cyprus, said Director of Medical and Public Health Services Dr Elizabeth Constantinou.
She told CNA that primary infection within the Republic of Cyprus seems to have never occurred.
According to Dr Constantinou, there has not been a particularly elevated number of dengue fever cases among people returning from abroad.
Although a primary infection within the Republic does not seem to have occurred, she did not exclude such an event since dengue fever reporting is not compulsory.
Therefore, according to data, infections from the disease are sporadic.
Two confirmed cases of dengue fever are being treated at the Special Infections Unit of Nicosia General Hospital.
These are the first two cases in Cyprus at a time when the alarm has been raised in Europe.
Constantinou said one case was recorded last year, which was imported.
In previous years, she said, “there do not appear to be any patients hospitalised with dengue fever.”
“Cyprus has the methods available to diagnose and treat cases.”
Most people infected with the dengue virus are asymptomatic.
If some cases show symptoms, these usually include slight fever, headache, malaise, and mouth rashes that suggest a viral infection.
“A very small percentage of cases manifest severe clinical symptoms and are dangerous to the body”.
Treatment received is conservative, meaning lots of fluids, antipyretics and whatever else is needed to support basic functions.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine yet.
The dengue virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito of the genus Aedes, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (tiger mosquito).
“In Cyprus, we have both species of these mosquitoes, which is the intermediate host that infects humans; transmission is not directly from humans, but an intermediate host, which is the mosquito.
“We are concerned because people need to be protected from mosquito bites.”