Dengue Can Be Spread Through Unprotected Sex, Health Authorities Confirm

It may be rare, but still possible

The very first case of dengue transmitted through sexual intercourse was reported in Spain.

Spanish health authorities confirmed last week that a 41-year-old man contracted dengue after having sex with his partner, another male, who went on a trip to Cuba and may have gotten it there.

The dengue virus is commonly carried by the Aedes mosquito and transmits it to humans by biting. Symptoms like high fever, severe headaches, skin rashes, and severe joint and muscle pain begin to appear about six days later.

According to Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque, the dengue virus can remain in semen for 37 days, and in urine and blood for 23 days.

In the case of the male partners in Spain, the two both showed signs of dengue in September after one of them traveled to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. 

“An analysis of their sperm was carried out and it revealed that not only did they have dengue but that it was exactly the same virus which circulates in Cuba,” said Susana Jimenez, from Madrid’s public health department.

Secretary Duque said that the transmittal may have happened during unprotected sex between the two. 

Walang history ng exposure ‘yung Spanish citizen, e. Ang meron lang dengue is the guy who came from Cuba, then nagkaroon siya ng symptoms ng dengue, the Spanish guy, so they tested him positive for dengue,” he added.

He, however, stressed that there is no new strain of the dengue virus, and instead reminded people to keep their surroundings clean to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the dengue virus may also be passed on by a pregnant woman who has it to her unborn child.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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