Boy, 14, dies after being bitten by mosquito while visiting family abroad

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Matteo Chieu, 14, from Italy has died in hospital in Brazil after being bitten by a mosquito (Image: Newsflash)
Matteo Chieu, 14, from Italy has died in hospital in Brazil after being bitten by a mosquito (Image: Newsflash)

A 14-year-old boy described by his mum as a 'special angel' has died in hospital after he was bitten by a mosquito.

Matteo Chieu from Tolmezzo near Udine, Italy, had gone on holiday with his mum, Denise Farias, to Brazil in mid-June to spend time with his extended family in his mum's home country.

He had just finished his first year at Paschini High School, and it was the second year in a row he had made the cross-Atlantic trip to the tropics to see his relatives.

The teen was bitten by the mosquito while staying with his mum's family in the Salinopolis district of Para state, and needed medical treatment when it started to become painful. Matteo was then taken to hospital as his condition started to deteriorate, with the treatment proving ineffective.

Boy, 14, dies after being bitten by mosquito while visiting family abroad eidexiqreiqtrinvMum Denise (pictured) and dad Roberto were were at Matteo's bedside when he passed away on July 28 (Newsflash)

As his family began to fear the worst, dad Roberto - who owns a shoe store in the town of Tolmezzo in the Italian Alps - made the long trip to Brazil to be by his son's side in hospital. The couple were at Matteo's bedside when he passed away on July 28, Italian media reported. His funeral was scheduled to take place on Monday ahead of his cremation.

Baby boy has spent his life in hospital as doctors are 'scared' to discharge himBaby boy has spent his life in hospital as doctors are 'scared' to discharge him

Thanking those who sent messages of condolence, mum Denise wrote on social media: "We appreciate all the prayers and messages of love and affection during this very painful time for all of us who have known this very special angel."

Eros dal Cin, the headmaster of Matteo's school, also wrote in a tribute: "My heart is truly shattered. Matteo was a good boy, polite, and a friend to everyone. A young man with many interests, who loved swimming and the pool. He was a brilliant and curious mind."

The exact cause of the teen's death has not yet been released. Mosquitoes are widespread in Brazil, and can spread a number of diseases to humans including Zika, dengue fever, yellow fever and malaria. While international visitors to the rainforest-covered northeast of the country are usually advised to take antimalarial medicine, the risk in the rest of the country, including Para state, is considered to be low.

In the US, people were advised to take precautions earlier this summer after the West Nile virus was detected in a batch of mosquitoes. Positive samples across the country have been detected in 13 cases this year as of June 13, according to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cases were reported in Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois, Louisiana, Arizona, South Carolina and Georgia - four were recorded in Arizona alone. Of the virus, the CSDC said: "About one in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord)."

Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

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