By Tamsin Brown • 14 February 2022 • 16:06
Image: Muhammad Mahdi Karim, Wikipedia
Cases of “coronadengue”, which is not a mutation of coronavirus but rather a simultaneous infection of coronavirus and dengue fever, have been detected in South America.
In early February, an Argentinean citizen returned home from a holiday in Brazil. A few days later, she began to show symptoms of COVID, so she took a test and the result was positive. When she did not seem to be getting better, she went for a blood test to check for dengue fever. Her suspicions were was correct, as she had both coronavirus and dengue fever. Doctors have decided to call this simultaneous infection “coronadengue”.
This was not the first case, as two cases had already been reported in the Salta region in January 2022. Mexico and Ecuador have also reported cases.
Coronadengue is not a mutation of COVID, like omicron or delta, which means that it is difficult to compare them in terms of seriousness.
Coronadengue is the simultaneous infection of COVID-19 and dengue in the same person, according to the Royal Spanish Academy.
To determine co-infection, patients must take a diagnostic test for COVID and a blood test for dengue, a virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito. This combination of viruses could lead to a syndemic, or synergistic epidemic, which is when two or more epidemics occur in a population simultaneously.
According to the US National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, most people with dengue and COVID-19 become only mildly ill and can recover at home, with symptoms usually lasting just a few days. However, both dengue and COVID-19 can cause severe, sometimes fatal, illnesses.
There is no evidence that this infection has reached Spain. The countries where the dengue-spreading mosquito is currently present are mainly in South America.
Symptoms of coronadengue include fever, headaches, muscle and joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and intense tiredness.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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