Zika Is A Whole Lot Worse For People Who Already Have Dengue Fever | Mosquito Control

Zika Is A Whole Lot Worse For People Who Already Have Dengue Fever | Mosquito Control

You would think that being immune to mosquito-borne disease would be a good thing, but a recent study has shown that contracting Zika after surviving a different mosquito-borne disease can make Zika symptoms much worse. The recent study in question was conducted in order to understand why Zika victims in Brazil experienced more severe symptoms than Zika victims in other parts of the world. The researchers conducting the study were able to demonstrate that having the West Nile virus or dengue fever before contracting the Zika virus will make the Zika virus much more severe.

Typically developing antibodies for one infection can help stave off the occurrence of other closely related infections. However, evidence shows that the antibodies that a person develops while infected with one mosquito-borne disease can help facilitate the Zika virus’s entry into the susceptible cells of mice. This is the first study to demonstrate this link between mosquito-borne diseases in mice.

The Zika virus is similar to the West Nile virus and dengue fever in that they are sixty percent identical genetically. The Zika virus, the West Nile virus and dengue fever are all apart of the same viral family. This viral family is known as flaviviruses. Dengue fever is common in Central and South America, and the Zika West Nile are both common in the United States.

When you contract a virus your body produces antibodies in order to fight the infection as well as related future infections.  Dengue fever, however, was already know to be unique in that contracting one type of dengue will make a person more susceptible to other types of dengue. There are, in fact, four different types of dengue. The research that demonstrated this unusual physiological response to viruses is making scientists rethink the nature of all viruses, not just mosquito-borne viruses.

Have you ever contracted any insect-borne disease more than once? If so, what types of disease were they?




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