Jun 16, 2017

A mosquito-born illness will affect almost everyone in Indonesia

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Officials in Indonesia might be underestimating the true extent of a severe, mosquito-born illness, according to a new study, because many cases go unreported, per the World Health Organization.

Dengue fever, also called breakbone fever, is a virus closely related to and carried by the same mosquitoes as Zika. Many cases are mild, but in some people dengue can cause extreme pain, fever, shock, and hemorrhaging, and the risk of severe consequences increases the more times someone is infected.

Why it matters: In some countries dengue is a leading cause of death in children, according to WHO.

What they did: The researchers recruited 3,210 children aged 1-20 from neighborhoods across Indonesia. They then tested the participants' blood for dengue antibodies. Since antibodies stay in the body for years after an infection, they provide a glimpse into a person's disease history.

What they found: 69% of Indonesian children had dengue antibodies, and that number rose to 80% in children over 10. The numbers are high enough that the authors suggest that some cases of symptomatic dengue might be going unreported.

This doesn't mean that 80% of Indonesian children get sick from dengue. Many of them may not have even known they were infected. However, these people could still be at risk of more severe symptoms, were they to be infected again. Additionally, people without symptoms can still transmit dengue to mosquitoes, and from there to other people.

Go deeper: Dengue is one of the fastest spreading diseases in the world, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. estimates that over 30% of the global population is at risk of dengue. Modern occurrences in the U.S. are fairly rare and with a few exceptions only involve a handful of cases, but mosquitoes capable of spreading dengue have established themselves in many parts of the country where they are closely monitored for the disease.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,463,392 — Total deaths: 344,503 — Total recoveries — 2,195,325Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,653,904 — Total deaths: 97,948 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.