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      Epidemiology of dengue: past, present and future prospects

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          Abstract

          Dengue is currently regarded globally as the most important mosquito-borne viral disease. A history of symptoms compatible with dengue can be traced back to the Chin Dynasty of 265–420 AD. The virus and its vectors have now become widely distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world, particularly over the last half-century. Significant geographic expansion has been coupled with rapid increases in incident cases, epidemics, and hyperendemicity, leading to the more severe forms of dengue. Transmission of dengue is now present in every World Health Organization (WHO) region of the world and more than 125 countries are known to be dengue endemic. The true impact of dengue globally is difficult to ascertain due to factors such as inadequate disease surveillance, misdiagnosis, and low levels of reporting. Currently available data likely grossly underestimates the social, economic, and disease burden. Estimates of the global incidence of dengue infections per year have ranged between 50 million and 200 million; however, recent estimates using cartographic approaches suggest this number is closer to almost 400 million. The expansion of dengue is expected to increase due to factors such as the modern dynamics of climate change, globalization, travel, trade, socioeconomics, settlement and also viral evolution. No vaccine or specific antiviral therapy currently exists to address the growing threat of dengue. Prompt case detection and appropriate clinical management can reduce the mortality from severe dengue. Effective vector control is the mainstay of dengue prevention and control. Surveillance and improved reporting of dengue cases is also essential to gauge the true global situation as indicated in the objectives of the WHO Global Strategy for Dengue Prevention and Control, 2012–2020. More accurate data will inform the prioritization of research, health policy, and financial resources toward reducing this poorly controlled disease. The objective of this paper is to review historical and current epidemiology of dengue worldwide and, additionally, reflect on some potential reasons for expansion of dengue into the future.

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          Most cited references 92

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          The global distribution and burden of dengue

          Dengue is a systemic viral infection transmitted between humans by Aedes mosquitoes 1 . For some patients dengue is a life-threatening illness 2 . There are currently no licensed vaccines or specific therapeutics, and substantial vector control efforts have not stopped its rapid emergence and global spread 3 . The contemporary worldwide distribution of the risk of dengue virus infection 4 and its public health burden are poorly known 2,5 . Here we undertake an exhaustive assembly of known records of dengue occurrence worldwide, and use a formal modelling framework to map the global distribution of dengue risk. We then pair the resulting risk map with detailed longitudinal information from dengue cohort studies and population surfaces to infer the public health burden of dengue in 2010. We predict dengue to be ubiquitous throughout the tropics, with local spatial variations in risk influenced strongly by rainfall, temperature and the degree of urbanisation. Using cartographic approaches, we estimate there to be 390 million (95 percent credible interval 284-528) dengue infections per year, of which 96 million (67-136) manifest apparently (any level of clinical or sub-clinical severity). This infection total is more than three times the dengue burden estimate of the World Health Organization 2 . Stratification of our estimates by country allows comparison with national dengue reporting, after taking into account the probability of an apparent infection being formally reported. The most notable differences are discussed. These new risk maps and infection estimates provide novel insights into the global, regional and national public health burden imposed by dengue. We anticipate that they will provide a starting point for a wider discussion about the global impact of this disease and will help guide improvements in disease control strategies using vaccine, drug and vector control methods and in their economic evaluation. [285]
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            Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever.

            Dengue fever, a very old disease, has reemerged in the past 20 years with an expanded geographic distribution of both the viruses and the mosquito vectors, increased epidemic activity, the development of hyperendemicity (the cocirculation of multiple serotypes), and the emergence of dengue hemorrhagic fever in new geographic regions. In 1998 this mosquito-borne disease is the most important tropical infectious disease after malaria, with an estimated 100 million cases of dengue fever, 500,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever, and 25,000 deaths annually. The reasons for this resurgence and emergence of dengue hemorrhagic fever in the waning years of the 20th century are complex and not fully understood, but demographic, societal, and public health infrastructure changes in the past 30 years have contributed greatly. This paper reviews the changing epidemiology of dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever by geographic region, the natural history and transmission cycles, clinical diagnosis of both dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever, serologic and virologic laboratory diagnoses, pathogenesis, surveillance, prevention, and control. A major challenge for public health officials in all tropical areas of the world is to develop and implement sustainable prevention and control programs that will reverse the trend of emergent dengue hemorrhagic fever.
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              Dengue: a continuing global threat.

              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.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Clin Epidemiol
                Clin Epidemiol
                Clinical Epidemiology
                Clinical Epidemiology
                Dove Medical Press
                1179-1349
                2013
                20 August 2013
                : 5
                : 299-309
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
                [2 ]Population Health, Waikato District Health Board, Hamilton, New Zealand
                [3 ]Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Professor A WilderSmith, Institute of Public Health, Im Neuenheimer Feld 365, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany, Tel +49 622 156 4864, Email anneliesws@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                clep-5-299
                10.2147/CLEP.S34440
                3753061
                23990732
                © 2013 Murray et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review

                Public health

                climate change, evolution, geographic expansion, travel

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