Dengue in Italy: what it is, symptoms and treatment

What are the more serious forms and therapies, what is there to know

Cases of Dengue in Italy. The so-called ‘breaking bone fever’, due to the symptoms with which it manifests itself, rises to the fore. What is disease? What are the symptoms? How is it transmitted? How to cure. The Ministry of Health highlights that Dengue “is transmitted through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes. It is a febrile disease that affects infants, children and adults with symptoms appearing 3-14 days after the infective bite”.


It is a febrile illness that affects infants, children and adults with symptoms appearing 3-14 days after the infective sting. Bites from infected mosquitoes cause severe flu-like illness and sometimes a life-threatening complication called severe dengue fever, previously known as dengue hemorrhagic fever. First recognized in the 1950s during the dengue epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand, severe dengue affects countries in Asia and Latin America and has become a leading cause of hospitalization and death in these areas between children and adults.

A person infected with the dengue virus experiences a low-grade fever to a disabling high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and skin rash. The clinical features of this disease vary according to the age of the patient. Dengue should be suspected when a high fever (40°C) is accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache; pain behind the eyes; nausea, vomiting; swollen glands; muscle and joint pain and rash. Symptoms usually last for 2-7 days.


Severe dengue is a life-threatening complication due to plasma leakage, fluid buildup, breathing problems, severe bleeding, or organ failure. It mainly affects children. The warning signs to observe, and which occur 3-7 days after the first symptoms are: severe abdominal pain; persistent vomiting; shortness of breath; bleeding gums and tiredness. The next 24-48 hours of the critical phase can be lethal. Adequate medical care is required to avoid complications and the risk of death.


There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. Patients should consult a doctor, rest and drink plenty of fluids. Some antipyretic drugs (acetylsalicylic acid – aspirin and ibuprofen) must be avoided, which, due to their action on blood clotting, could favor the appearance of haemorrhagic manifestations (petechiae) or determine their aggravation. Paracetamol can be taken to reduce fever and joint pain.

For severe dengue, medical care from doctors and nurses experienced in the effects and evolution of the disease can often save lives. Maintaining circulating fluid volume is central to such care.