Published On: Tue, Mar 18th, 2014

Rare dengue/chikungunya co-infection reported in Portuguese traveler

A not often reported dengue fever/chikungunya fever co-infection case has been detected in a female traveler to Angola, according to a recent submission in Eurosurveillance.


Photo/CDC-James Gathany

The traveler,  a woman in her early 50s, was born and raised in Angola and has lived in Lisbon, Portugal, since the early 1990s. She stayed in Luanda from mid-December 2013 to early January 2014 at her family’s place of residence. There were a large number of mosquitoes in the garden and the patient was repeatedly bitten during her stay.

The patient reported feeling unwell in early January, two days before her return to Portugal. Her condition worsened during the flight, and in the next few days she suffered from several non-specific symptoms to include high fever (up to 39.5 °C), severe arthralgia, myalgia, prostration and abdominal pain. Three days after her return, she went to the emergency department of a hospital where a number of laboratory tests were performed including a malaria smear, which was negative.

She was later referred to a tropical medicine specialist where arbovirus infection was suspected.

She tested positive for both  dengue virus serotype 4 and chikungunya virus by various molecular and other laboratory testing.

The woman has since recovered from her illnesses.

Although dengue/chikungunya coinfections were 1st reported in India in 1967 and later confirmed in Sri Lanka (2008), Malaysia (2010) and Gabon (2007) , these coinfections are rarely notified.

The authors note that although the circulation of both dengue and chikungunya viruses in Angola has been previously reported, to their knowledge this is the first time coinfection with both viruses has been detected there.

In addition, they suggest that tests to detect the presence of both viruses should be carried out in individuals showing clinical signs of an infection with either chikungunya or dengue.

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- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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