Everyone’s favorite antibody-dependent enhanced Flavivirus is back in the news this month, with an article from the Canadian Journal of Health linking the arbovirus to stroke, especially in the 2 months following infection.
Dengue infects about 100 million people annually and threatens about 4 billion worldwide. It usually causes flu-like symptoms, but occasionally it presents with a hemorrhagic fever that can lead to spontaneous bleeding, organ failure and death. It is spread primarily by mosquitos.
Researchers at China Medical University Hospital in Taichung, Taiwan found that those recently diagnosed with dengue had almost 3x the risk for a stroke in the following 2 months, a phenomenon that is being noted by medical personnel in dengue-impacted regions. The data, collected between 2000 and 2012, was from 13,787 patients (most between 31 and 60 years of age) with newly diagnosed dengue.
Hopefully this study will spur further investigation into the etiology of this increased risk, so that it can possibly be mitigated or utilized by clinical evaluations.
-J. Cole Holderman