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Euro Surveill. 2010 Feb 18;15(7). pii: 19487.

A case of dengue type 3 virus infection imported from Africa to Italy, October 2009.

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WHO Collaborating Center for clinical care, diagnosis, response and training on Highly Infectious Diseases, National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani, Rome, Italy.


In October 2009, a traveller returning from Africa to Italy was hospitalised with symptoms suggestive of a haemorrhagic fever of unknown origin. The patient was immediately placed in a special biocontainment unit until laboratory investigations confirmed the infection to be caused by a dengue serotype 3 virus. This case reasserts the importance of returning travellers as sentinels of unknown outbreaks occurring in other countries, and highlights how the initial symptoms of dengue fever resemble those of other haemorrhagic fevers, hence the importance of prompt isolation of patients until a final diagnosis is reached.

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