Published On: Wed, Jan 16th, 2013

Dengue fever incidence has increased 30-fold during the past half century:WHO

While certain neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have decreased dramatically over the years, guinea worm disease and African sleeping sickness are two examples), the mosquito borne viral disease, dengue fever has been given the dubious honor of being ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world, according to the Second World Health Organization (WHO) report on neglected tropical diseases published Jan. 16.


Photo/CDC-James Gathany

According to the report, between 1955 and 1959, the number of countries reporting cases of dengue increased from three to eight; in 2012, the geographical distribution of dengue included more than 125 countries.

Dengue registered a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years.

The emergence and spread of the four dengue viral serotypes across WHO’s African, the Americas, South-East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean regions represents a pandemic threat.

Dengue is considered an emerging disease in parts of the Near East and Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan, dengue has become a major public health problem.

During the past two decades (1990–2010) there have been repeated outbreaks in urban centers and reports that the
disease is spreading to rural areas in Pakistan and Yemen.

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In the Americas, where the interruption of transmission occurred several decades ago as a result of an eradication campaign,  many areas are now hyperendemic and outbreak are frequent in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

In South East Asia, severe dengue is endemic in most of the countries including India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

In the Western Pacific, although the number of dengue cases reported annually decreased to around 50,000 annually in 1999 and 2000 after an epidemic in 1998, the incidence of dengue has increased during the past decade. In 2010, the region reported 353,907 cases, including 1073 deaths (case-fatality rate, 0.30%).

The incidence of dengue was highest in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, but most cases and deaths were reported from the Philippines.

Dengue fever saw a 70 percent increase in the U.S. in 2012

The number of dengue related fatalities have more than doubled in recent years from 1,828 deaths in 2006 to 4,248 fatalities reported in 2010.

The number of cases reported globally from 1955 to 2007 was 1,840, 327. In 2010 alone, 2,388,323 were reported.

The Global Strategy for Dengue Prevention and Control 2012-2020 aims to reduce dengue deaths by 50 percent and reduce morbidity by 25 percent, using 2010 numbers as a baseline.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show on http://1380thebiz.com/ Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. […] the past 50 years, the incidence of dengue worldwide has increased 30-fold, largely as a consequence of the growth of cities and increased […]

  2. […] the past 50 years, the incidence of dengue worldwide has increased 30-fold, largely as a consequence of the growth of cities and increased […]

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