Available the Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika virus cases report in Catalonia during 2018

Mosquit tigre. Autor: Alexander Northey (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Sub-Directorate General for Emergency Surveillance and Response in Public Health of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia has published the report on the surveillance and control of arbovirosis transmitted by mosquitoes in Catalonia during the period from June to November 2018. IRTA-CReSA collaborates in the execution of this surveillance.

Since 2014, ten years after the arrival of the tiger mosquito in Catalonia, every season of mosquito activity unfolds the Protocol for the surveillance and control of arbovirosis transmitted by mosquitoes in Catalonia to reduce the risk of transmission of mosquitoes in Catalonia. Chikungunya virus, Dengue and Zika among the population with the coordination of experts in entomology, epidemiology, clinical medicine, virology and public health.

Informe ASPCAT

Informe ASPCAT

According to the results of the report, in 2018 several cases of people infected with Chikungunya, Dengue or Zika in Catalonia were detected in recent years. All these cases were from people who became infected with the virus in another country, but the disease was diagnosed once they were in Catalonia. Until now, no case of autochthonous transmission of these diseases has been detected in Catalonia, but on November 15 the first case of Dengue in Catalonia was confirmed without traveling outside the region. On the other hand, in the rest of the Spanish State, cases of autochthonous transmission of Dengue were also detected for the first time. On October 4, 3 cases of autochthonous transmission of Dengue were reported to members of the same family who had been in Murcia and Cadiz in August. Later, two more cases of Dengue linked to the region of Murcia were reported.

Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika virus are infectious agents that are transmitted mainly by the mosquito bite of the Aedes genus, and the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is one of the potential vectors. Transmission of these viruses occurs when a mosquito nut hits a person who already has the virus in the blood with a sufficient concentration to infect the mosquito. Then he will transmit it to another healthy person through a new sting. Therefore, the more vectors there are in one area, the risk of infection is higher.

In Catalonia, 5% of infections attended to travelers’ visits are caused by arbovirus. This is because there is an increasing number of people traveling among countries where these diseases are endemic. In addition, the peak of these international trips tends to coincide with the period of more activity of the tiger mosquito in our territory.

IRTA-CReSA diagnoses whether mosquitoes contain viruses

In the scope of the provision of Services of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia, the IRTA-CReSA Animal Health Research Center participates in the update and review of the Chikungunya Surveillance Protocol, the Dengue and Zika performing the diagnosis of mosquitoes captured during entomological inspections. The researcher Núria Busquets is responsible for this diagnosis.

When suspicious cases of an ill person are detected for these diseases and also coincides with the viremic period – between 4 and 8 days after the infection – among other actions, mosquitoes are captured around their home to check their presence of tiger mosquitoes Then, the IRTA-CReSA laboratories analyze the captured females to check if they are carriers of the virus in question.

In all the captured specimens of tiger mosquito nests in 2018, no positive cases were detected in the chikungunya, dengue or zika virus. However, in 2015 tiger mosquito females with the Dengue virus were detected for the first time, captured in a residential area where a patient with the disease lived and who had traveled to an endemic area.

About the author of this post:

Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (IRTA-CReSA). Programa de Sanitat Animal IRTA. marina.torres@irta.cat Tel. +34 93 467 40 40 Ext. 1788