A new Dengue study reveals the deadly virus could possibly be spread as an STD.
In a new Dengue study conducted by the researchers from the National Institute for Infectious Diseases, the team reported the detection of Dengue virus in the semen of an Italian man. The man reportedly contracted the viral disease after a trip to Thailand.
Scientist are worried that Dengue, like Zika, could also be contracted sexually.
According to the study, which was published in the journal Eurosurveillance, the 50-year old Italian man appeared healthy but suffered from joint pains, fatigue, and nausea during the illness. He was admitted in NIID in Rome after nine days of being sick.
The man recovered and traces of the virus disappeared from his urine and blood after 23 days of treatment. However, further tests conducted by the researchers showed evidence of the Dengue virus still present in his semen after 37 days. It was only after 55 days that all traces of the viral disease disappeared entirely from his body.
“To our knowledge, the presence and persistence of DENV [dengue fever] in the male genital tract has never been reported so far. Our findings highlight the possibility of sexual transmission of DENV that could play a role in the spreading of infection in non-endemic areas.
“However, no such events have been reported to date despite that fact that in 2016 alone, 2,601 travel-associated dengue cases were reported to The European Surveillance System at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control,” the researchers said.
Despite the alarming discovery, the researchers believe that further studies must still be conducted to confirm their initial findings.
Usually, Dengue fever outbreaks are spread when people are bitten by mosquitoes that have bitten people infected by the virus. The virus is part of the Flaviviridae family, the same scientific system that also includes Zika and the Yellow Fever viruses.