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They signed the World Dengue Day petition: find out why

The global petition calling for a World Dengue Day has garnered support from signatories across the globe and across disciplines. In this Infectious Thoughts interview, we hear more about the reasons for which it was important to rally behind this movement from Dr. Andrea Mosca, medical entomologist and vector professional in mosquito surveillance and abatement in the district of Piedmont (Italy), and Fiona Weston, parent and resident of London.

What is your professional or personal connection to or interest in dengue fever?

Dr. A. Mosca: I'm a medical entomologist, working in the Piedmont mosquito abatement district, Italy.

F. Weston: I'm a parent and live with my family in London. We have been lucky enough not to be affected directly by dengue, nor do we live in an at-risk area. I became interested in the topic of dengue when I heard about invasive mosquito in the news and also about the magnitude and rapid spread of this disease in recent decades. We were also devoured by mosquitoes in a recent trip to the South of France which made the headlines very real.

What are some of the main reasons for which you signed the petition?

Dr. A. Mosca: There is a matter of urgency to the spread of dengue: every year we have to face more and more imported cases of dengue to avoid local transmissions, and also we know that sooner or later we'll have local transmission of the virus. Localised solutions can only go part of the way - the problem can only be fully solved by important policy initiatives on a global scale which will directly involve the resource-poor endemic countries.

F. Weston: I support the idea of World Days as I think they are a good way to draw attention to global priorities and also keep them in the spotlight over the years. Given the number of families worldwide at risk of this disease, I would like to see as much information shared as possible to avoid illness.

What are some of the ways in which you feel a World Dengue Day petition will benefit those at risk of dengue but also the wider global community?

Dr. A. Mosca: I believe that the establishment of a World Dengue Day could be a first step towards the creation of international plans to control the disease as has been happening for decades in the case of malaria.

F. Weston: I think that a lot of people like me are not aware at all of this disease, let alone of its rapid progression in recent times. For those in dengue areas, sharing more information about avoiding mosquito bites especially among school children, for example through radio, TV or even school itself, will be very beneficial in avoiding as many infections as possible.

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