Dengue has been designated a major international public health problem by the World Health Organization. It is endemic in most tropical and sub-tropical countries, which are also popular tourist destinations. Travelers are at significant risk of acquiring the disease and also contribute to its spread to non-endemic countries where the vector is present. Children represent a particular susceptible category, since they have a higher risk than adults of developing severe dengue.
We describe 3 cases of imported dengue fever in Italy in three children (two born in the Philippines and one of Bangladeshi ethnicity) who acquired dengue fever during a recent travel to Southeast Asia, initially not-recognized because of the low index of suspicion of physicians not working in dengue endemic areas. Clinical presentations, differential diagnosis and management of these children are presented and discussed.
Due to global urbanization and increased air travel, it is nowadays important that physicians who practice outside of traditionally dengue endemic areas are adept at the recognition of potentially fatal reemerging infectious diseases such as dengue.