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Study Warns We Must Be Ready For A New Disease Outbreak That Has Already Reached People

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Humans are rarely infected with ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses, however many animal diseases can be transmitted to humans. The SINV, which is predominantly spread by mosquitoes, acts as an amplifying host in a variety of bird species, particularly migratory and game birds.

Alphaviruses like SINV, which are thought to have their origins close to Sindbis, Egypt, are among these RNA viruses. The symptoms of Pogosta disease, which is brought on by SINV infection, include a rash, myalgia, arthralgia, and fever. The quality of life for those who suffer from this disease may be negatively impacted by the arthralgia and myalgia that can last for several months or years.

The Pogosta disease is usually diagnosed using an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), with positive results indicating the presence of either SINV immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies in a single serum sample or when seroconversion has taken place between two serum samples. As of 1995, the National Infectious Diseases Register had received lab-confirmed cases of Pogosta disease (NIDR).

SINV has been found in birds and mosquitoes all throughout the world, although symptomatic human infections have mostly been documented in South Africa, Finland, Russia, and Russia. Notably, the transmission of SINV in Finland in 2021 resulted in a widespread outbreak including 566 laboratory-confirmed human cases.

In 2022, heavy snowfall in late winter led to too much melting water, which made it easy for mosquitos to start breeding early. So, the weather has been good for mosquito breeding all through 2022.

Additionally, Finland has seen an increase in bird populations, which gives SINV more amplifying hosts. Together, these factors created the ideal environment for increasing SINV transmission in 2022.

It is possible that there is a lack of awareness of Pogosta disease in Finland, especially in areas where the illness is uncommon. SINV patients need a clear diagnosis because they might have pain in their joints for a long time. These symptoms have been reported by 24.5% and 39%, respectively, of diagnosed patients in Finland and Sweden.

In light of this approaching danger, surveillance is being carried out to spread awareness of a potential SINV breakout in 2022.

The National Infectious Diseases Register (NIDR) data from the years 2002 to 2021 were used in the current investigation. Patients’ residences at the time of diagnosis and the time period during which samples were collected were examined.

The months of August and September in 2021 saw the most SINV cases, with 175 and 309 instances, respectively. In comparison to earlier months, there were noticeably fewer cases reported in June, July, October, November, and December.

Incidences of Pogosta sickness per 100,000 people ranged from 0 on land islands to 40.6 in North Savo in 2021, depending on the hospital district. The majority of these cases were identified in the central, eastern, and western hospital districts of Finland.

The Pogosta disease was found less often in hospitals in Lapland, which is on the southern coast of Finland, and on the western coast south of Central Ostrobothnia.

While multiple hospital districts reported significant numbers of cases during both outbreaks in 2002 and 2021, there were noticeable disparities in cases reported in the Western and Southern coastal hospital districts in 2021 as compared to 2002, ranging from 26-64%.

In North Karelia, the incidence of SINV infection reduced by 71%, but the rate in this region remained high. Hospitals in Lapland, Kainuu, Lansi-Pohja, Central Ostrobothnia, North Ostrobothnia, Kanta-Hame, Paijat-Hame, and Kymenlaakso had significantly higher rates of SINV infections as well.

SINV was responsible for the greatest epidemic of mosquito-borne viruses in the EU in 2021, with 566 confirmed cases in Finland alone.

The elements that contribute to and facilitate SINV epidemics remain difficult to identify. Therefore, there is a pressing need to increase public awareness of the Pogosta disease and preventative measures that can reduce mosquito bites, particularly in regions with a high incidence and predicted risk, like central, eastern, and western Finland.

As reported instances vary from region to region, symptom identification and diagnosis remain challenging. Thus, it is necessary to do virus-specific diagnostic tests on febrile individuals with disease-specific symptoms.

Image Credit: Getty

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