Dengue: a continuing global threat
Maria G. Guzman1, Scott B. Halstead2, Harvey Artsob3, Philippe Buchy4, Jeremy Farrar5, Duane J. Gubler6, Elizabeth Hunsperger7, Axel Kroeger8, Harold S. Margolis7, Eric Martínez1, Michael B. Nathan9, Jose Luis Pelegrino1, Cameron Simmons5, Sutee Yoksan10 & Rosanna W. Peeling8,11
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Dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever are important arthropod-borne viral diseases. Each year, there are ~50 million dengue infections and ~500,000 individuals are hospitalized with dengue haemorrhagic fever, mainly in Southeast Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. Illness is produced by any of the four dengue virus serotypes. A global strategy aimed at increasing the capacity for surveillance and outbreak response, changing behaviours and reducing the disease burden using integrated vector management in conjunction with early and accurate diagnosis has been advocated. Antiviral drugs and vaccines that are currently under development could also make an important contribution to dengue control in the future.
Dengue is the most important arthropod-borne viral infection of humans. Worldwide, an estimated 2.5 billion people are at risk of infection, approximately 975 million of whom live in urban areas in tropical and sub-tropical countries in Southeast Asia, the Pacific and the Americas1. Transmission also occurs in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, and rural communities are increasingly being affected. It is estimated that more than 50 million infections occur each year, including 500,000 hospitalizations for dengue haemorrhagic fever, mainly among children, with the case fatality rate exceeding 5% in some areas1, 2, 3, 4.
The annual average number of dengue fever/dengue haemorrhagic fever (DF/DHF) cases reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) has increased dramatically in recent years. For the period 2000–2004, the annual average was 925,896 cases, almost double the figure of 479,848 cases that was reported for...