Dengue can immune your body against coronavirus

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Dengue (Image:
Dengue (Image:

New Delhi : A new study which monitored coronavirus pandemic outbreak in Brazil found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever that suggests that people may get some level of immunity against coronavirus from mosquito-transmitted illness. The study was led by Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, it is yet to be published officially but has been shared exclusively with Reuters; it compared the geographic distribution of coronavirus cases with the spread of dengue in 2019 and 2020.

According to the study, the areas which registered less number of coronavirus cases were the ones where the Dengue outbreak was reported this year or the previous year.

"This striking finding raises the intriguing possibility of immunological cross-reactivity between dengue’s Flavivirus serotypes and SARS-CoV-2," the study said, referring to dengue virus antibodies and the novel coronavirus. "If proven correct, this hypothesis could mean that dengue infection or immunization with an efficacious and safe dengue vaccine could produce some level of immunological protection" against the coronavirus, it added.

The findings from the study become more interesting with the fact that previous studies have shown how people can falsely test positive for coronavirus if they have dengue antibodies in them. "This indicates that there is an immunological interaction between two viruses that nobody could have expected because the two viruses are from completely different families," Nicolelis said, adding that further studies are needed to prove the connection.

Brazil has the world’s third-highest total of Covid-19 infections with more than 4.4 million cases - behind only the United States and India. In states such as Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais, with a high incidence of dengue last year and early this year, Covid-19 took much longer to reach a level of high community transmission compared to states such as Amapá, Maranhão and Pará that had fewer dengue cases.

The researchers also dug out a similar correlation in other parts of Latin America, as well as Asia and islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.