July 12, 2024

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WHO: Surge in Global Dengue Fever Cases Approaches Historic Peak

WHO: Surge in Global Dengue Fever Cases Approaches Historic Peak



WHO: Surge in Global Dengue Fever Cases Approaches Historic Peak

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on Dec 21st stating that there has been a sharp increase in global cases of dengue fever in 2023, with over 5 million cases reported to date, approaching historical peak levels.

The report reveals that the dengue fever epidemic has been spreading since the beginning of this year, with over 5 million cases reported globally, including over 5,000 deaths related to dengue fever. The Americas region alone reported approximately 4.1 million cases.

The WHO indicates that the reported cases are likely to be underestimated due to many cases being asymptomatic, and in many countries, reporting dengue fever is not mandatory.

According to the WHO, the spread of the dengue fever epidemic is linked to various factors. Changes in the distribution of disease vectors, such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, are noted, especially in countries not previously affected by dengue fever. The year 2023 has seen the impact of the El Niño phenomenon and climate change, resulting in increased temperatures, higher rainfall, and increased humidity. Additionally, some countries’ public health systems are vulnerable for various reasons.

Over the past two decades, the global incidence of dengue fever has significantly increased, posing a major challenge to public health. According to WHO data, from 2000 to 2019, the annual reported cases worldwide increased from 500,000 to 5.2 million, with the year 2019 marking a historical peak in cases.

WHO: Surge in Global Dengue Fever Cases Approaches Historic Peak

 


What is Dengue Fever?

 

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection that is transmitted primarily by the Aedes mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.

The virus responsible for causing dengue fever is part of the Flaviviridae family and is classified into four distinct serotypes, DEN-1 through DEN-4.

Dengue fever is prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Key features of dengue fever include:

  1. Symptoms: Dengue fever symptoms typically appear 4 to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Common symptoms include high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, rash, and mild bleeding.

  2. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS): In severe cases, dengue fever can progress to more serious forms, such as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). These conditions can lead to bleeding, organ damage, and a drop in blood pressure, which can be life-threatening.

  3. Transmission: Aedes mosquitoes are the primary vectors of the dengue virus. The mosquitoes become infected when they bite a person already infected with the virus, and then they can transmit the virus to other individuals through subsequent bites.

  4. Prevention: There is no specific antiviral treatment for dengue fever. Prevention primarily involves controlling mosquito populations and avoiding mosquito bites. This includes using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved clothing, and using bed nets.

  5. Vaccine: As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, a vaccine called Dengvaxia has been developed for dengue fever. However, its use is limited, and its effectiveness varies by serotype and prior dengue infection history.

Dengue fever poses a significant public health challenge in many parts of the world, and efforts to control mosquito populations and raise awareness about prevention remain crucial in managing the spread of the disease.

It’s important to note that information on vaccines or other developments in dengue fever management may have evolved since my last update in January 2022.

WHO: Surge in Global Dengue Fever Cases Approaches Historic Peak

(source:internet, reference only)


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Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.