A man in Spain becomes infected with dengue after having sex with a gay partner - the first sexually transmitted case of dengue.
The Daily Mail reported that the 41-year-old man had dengue, although he had never been to an area where the virus was. However, his boyfriend was infected with the dengue virus while traveling to Cuba and had similar symptoms 10 days earlier.
Madrid city officials confirmed on November 8 about the case and said dengue virus had been transmitted through the sperm of the patient's boyfriend.
Aedes Aegypti mosquito.(Photo: AFP).
Scientists only discovered dengue virus that could live in semen 18 months ago when they examined an infected tourist returning from Thailand, but could not find evidence of how the virus was transmitted.
Dengue is a common viral infection in many parts of the world, most notably in tropical regions such as Asia, South America and the Caribbean. It causes symptoms such as high fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle aches, vomiting or nausea. Symptoms tend to clear up on their own within a week or so but can be more serious for some patients.
Susana Jimenez, public health official in Madrid, said: 'The patient's boyfriend showed similar symptoms but was lighter than nearly 10 days ago. This person has just returned from Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The results of semen analysis showed that they not only had dengue fever but also were infected with the same virus that caused the disease in Cuba. '
Speaking to the AFP news agency, the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) confirmed it was the first case of sexually transmitted dengue. ECDC said: 'As far as we know, the first case of sexually transmitted dengue virus is between two men.'
In South Korea, the media also reported on a case of dengue from a woman to her boyfriend after having sex. However, this case has not been officially confirmed.
The World Health Organization reports that dengue fever is mainly caused by Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes . This disease-causing insect thrives in tropical climates, laying eggs in stagnant ponds and lakes. The virus is very dangerous and can even lead to death in children, especially girls, although the reason is not yet clear.
Dengue fever is common among people traveling in hot and humid climates such as Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, South America and Central America.
Signs that dengue virus could be sexually transmitted were first published in a scientific journal last year. The study, published in the journal Eurosurveillance, records the case of an Italian man in his 50s who was diagnosed with dengue virus after returning from Thailand. He suffered from joint pain, fatigue and nausea.
After recovering, the virus disappeared from the blood and urine of Italian patients after 23 days. However, the virus still appeared in his sperm after 37 days. The virus completely disappeared from the patient's body on day 55.
This finding led scientists to believe that dengue virus can be transmitted through sex just like the Zika virus.