Doctors: UK Could See Dengue Outbreaks in the Future

HEALTHCARE

Due to climate change, doctors have warned that Dengue fever outbreaks could occur in the UK in the future. Researchers issued the warning after an unidentified 44-year-old woman contracted the tropical disease while traveling to Nice, southern France, in September 2022.

She had a rash, a fever, a headache, muscle pain, and a fever for three days but didn’t need any more medicine. The patient’s symptoms began a day after she returned to the south of France, and her family in France also experienced similar symptoms. Dengue fever is a virus that mosquitoes transmit.

She had not traveled to any other countries, and the Rare Imported Pathogens Laboratory (RIPL) in the UK made the diagnosis after the woman went to an emergency department after returning to the UK and had a sample sent in urgently for analysis.

This person was a part of an outbreak in 2022 that resulted in over 30 locally transmitted cases in the south of France, said Dr. Owain Donnelly from Hospital for Tropical Diseases based in London. This demonstrates how rapidly the epidemiology of dengue is changing.

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Dr Donnelly introduced the case to the European Congress of Clinical Microbial science and Irresistible Sicknesses in Copenhagen. According to Dr. Owain Donnelly, climate change, particularly rising temperatures and more precipitation, as well as rising global trade and tourism may lead to dengue outbreaks in more European regions.