Severe cases of dengue can result in internal bleeding, organ damage and even death.
“Killer mosquitoes” are now “setting up shop in Europe” – bringing with them diseases including potentially deadly dengue fever, health experts have warned could be the next pandemic.
Diseases spread by mosquitoes have generally been classified as neglected tropical diseases, which primarily impact low-income countries and which struggle to attract significant research and development investment.
Will this be the next pandemic?
Europe saw more cases of locally acquired dengue in 2022 than in the entire previous decade.
In August of that year, Parisians watched as officials fumigated the city against the tiger mosquito, an extraordinary sight in a northern EU city and one far more associated with those located in the tropics.
However, an uptick in investment in drugs used to treat the disease may spell bad news for the rest of the world – because it may deny resources to other regions where it is more widespread.
The encroachment of such disease-bearing vectors into Europe is likely to spur the pharmaceutical industry to step up investment into treatments for the illness, and others, such as chikungunya and Zika.
Specifically, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control indicates that last year Europe saw 71 cases of locally acquired dengue: 65 in France and six in Spain.
However, while the consequent investment in technologies used to treat such illnesses might on the fact of it appear to be a positive, experts have warned there is a sting in the tail.