The tick, the fever then death. What happened to the pilot Douglas Costa

The tick, the fever then death. What happened to the pilot Douglas Costa
The tick, the fever then death. What happened to the pilot Douglas Costa

Five days of agony between fever, pain and rashes then the death first of the partner then of the Brazilian racing driver four hours apart from each other. So they died Douglas Costa, 42, and his girlfriend Mariana Giordano, 36. He famous pilot, she dentist both bitten by a star tick during a trip to the Brazilian hinterland, which triggered the lethal bacterial infection.

Contagion then death

The couple’s story deeply affected Brazil, where Costa was well known for his social commitment and for his profession as a racing driver. On May 27, Douglas Costa and his partner Mariana visited two rural areas of Campinas and Monte Verde, in Minas Gerais about a hundred kilometers away from São Paulo. Upon their return, the woman began to show the first symptoms: fever high, red spots on hands and feet and severe headaches. Only on June 3, however, did Mariana Giordano go to the hospital, where she would be given adrenaline and then, feeling better, she would be discharged. Family members report that the woman would even go to university the day after her hospitalization in hospitalbut twenty-four hours later the situation worsened.

Douglas Costa, who was involved in the AMG Cup Brasil, has started to have the same symptoms of the partner with fever, joint pain and rashes but would have preferred to stay at home. Mariana, on the other hand, debilitated and feverish, was hospitalized on 6 June, transferred to intensive care on 7 June and then died at the first light of dawn on 8 June. In the meantime, the sportsman in already critical conditions had also arrived at the hospital in San Paolo, so much so that he had to be intubated and transported to intensive care. The death for him came, however, four hours after his girlfriend, who had been stung by the mint in two places, on the shoulder and on the leg.

What is spotted fever

Before making the news known, the Brazilian authorities awaited the analyzes of the biological samples, from which it emerged that the pilot and his partner contracted spotted fever, also known as tick disease. A rare infection caused by a bacterium transmitted through the bite of the star tick, the symptoms of which can easily be confused with other diseases. Inland from Sao Paulo in the Rocky Mountain area, spotted fever – also known as black measles and tick-borne typhus – is kept under strict control but this has not prevented i contagion which – in 2023 alone – were nine with three deaths. According to the Brazilian authorities, if at the first symptoms the couple had reported having been in those places, she could have undergone early treatment and prevented the disease from worsening.

 
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