A patient from Rio de Janeiro was diagnosed with type 4 dengue fever, which had not been circulating in the city since 2018. The State and Municipal Health Departments confirmed the case this Thursday (7).
The strain is considered slightly less aggressive than type 3, which has not yet been registered in the state. However, the Secretary of State for Health, Claudia Mello, warned of a possible epidemic.
“As it returns to circulation in our territory after five years, those born after 2018 did not have contact with the virus and did not develop immunity against it, which increases the risk of having an epidemic,” said the secretary.
The patient is a 45-year-old woman, who presented her first symptoms on November 26th. She follows care and treatment at home.
The positive samples were confirmed by Lacen-RJ (Noel Nutels Central Public Health Laboratory) after three different analysis protocols until the diagnosis was confirmed.
“Like the symptoms, the clinical management of type 4 dengue fever is the same as that of types 1, 2 and 3, from assessment to treatment recommendations,” said Daniela Vidal, a doctor at the state’s Undersecretariat of Health Surveillance.
The main symptoms are high fever; pain in the body and joints; nausea and vomiting pain behind the eyes; malaise; lack of appetite; headache; red spots on the body.
There is still no specific treatment for the disease. Dengue, in most mild cases, heals spontaneously after 10 days.
A person can have dengue fever up to four times in their lifetime. This is because you can be infected with four different serotypes of the virus. “Once exposed to a certain serotype, after the disease has remitted, the individual becomes immune to that specific serotype, remaining susceptible to the others”, informed the State Department of Health.
The Municipal Health Department identified 6 thousand cases of dengue in the city until the beginning of December, the majority of which were type 1, and a smaller portion of type 2.
Until October 26th, Brazil already had more cases of dengue in 2023 than in the entire year 2022.
Mosquito control is the main method for preventing and controlling dengue fever and other urban arboviruses, such as chikungunya It is Zika.
To prevent mosquito infestation, the Ministry of Health advises that it is necessary to eliminate breeding sites, keeping reservoirs and any place that can accumulate water completely covered with screens, covers or lids.
In March 2023, Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) approved the dengue vaccine from the Japanese manufacturer Takeda in Brazil.
Currently, it is only possible to get vaccinated in the private network, where the vaccine is offered at prices ranging from R$300 to R$800 per dose — the manufacturer recommends taking two.
This Thursday, the Ministry of Health opened a public consultation on the proposal to incorporate the dengue vaccine into the SUS (Unified Health System).