The Australian media is reporting that a rare strain of Dengue fever that is usually found in monkeys has been found in humans.
A Queensland woman who was visting Brunei in 2014 contracted the rare strain of Dengue fever whilst there. It is the first reported case of this form of Dengue crossing to Humans.
Scientists in Australia who cultured the virus have finally identified it.
One scientist was quoted as saying, “The virus itself was completely different to any other dengue-1 strain we’d ever seen before, let alone any other dengue virus that we’d ever seen before …. Brunei is in the hotspot for finding rare varieties of dengue.”
Crossing form monkeys to humans has also happened with the malaria parasites. What was once called Monkey malaria (Plamodium Knowelsii or Pk ) crossed into humans in Malaysia and is now spreading in South East Asia particularly in Malaysia, Mynamar and Thailand. Pk malaria can be fatal and needs to be treated in a similary way to P. falciparum.
The new strain of Dengue fever is treated in the same way as the other strains of Dengue fever. Because dengue is a virus which continually mutates, symptoms are generally treated until the virus is overcome by the body’s immune system. There is no prophylaxis for Dengue fever.
Dengue fever is spread by the Aedes mosquito.
In Asia it is the wet season and mosquioes numbers are high. People travelling to these areas should cover up, use a repellent during the day and a treated mosquito net at night. See your local GP about the antimalarial that is right for you and consistant with the WHO guidelines in the area in which you are travelling.