Prior Dengue Infection Considerably Increases Risk Of Sympto
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A study suggests that people who have had dengue in the past are twice as likely to develop symptoms of COVID-19 if they are infected by the novel coronavirus. The findings were based on an analysis of blood samples from 1,285 inhabitants of Mâncio Lima.

"This is an example of what has been called a syndemic [synergic interaction between two epidemic diseases so that one exacerbates the effects of the other]," researcher says. The populations most exposed to dengue are precisely those that most risk falling very sick if they're infected by SARS-CoV-2.

For seven years the researcher has been conducting research in Mâncio Lima with the aim of combating malaria. Project received additional funding so that part of the research effort could be redirected to the monitoring and characterization of SARS-CoV-2.

~ Methodology

The blood samples analyzed had been collected in November 2019 and November 2020. They were submitted to tests capable of detecting antibodies against all four dengue serotypes and against SARS-CoV-2. The results showed that 37% of the cohort studied had contracted dengue before November 2019 and 35% had been infected by the novel coronavirus before November 2020. Clinical data of the volunteers diagnosed with COVID-19 were also analyzed.

"We deployed statistical analysis to conclude that prior infection by dengue virus doesn't alter the risk of being infected by SARS-CoV-2. On the other hand, our study also shows that people who have had dengue are more likely to have symptoms if they're infected by SARS-CoV-2," said first author of the article.

The causes of the phenomenon described in the article are unclear. There may be a biological basis for it, in the sense that antibodies against dengue virus somehow exacerbate COVID-19, or it may simply be due to socio-demographic factors that make certain population groups more vulnerable to both diseases for various reasons.

"The results evidence the importance of reinforcing both the social distancing measures introduced to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and efforts to control the dengue vector, as the two epidemics are occurring at the same time and affecting the same vulnerable population. This should be getting more attention from the federal government," the researcher said.

Source:
https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciab410/6270997
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