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Published On: Fri, Oct 2nd, 2015

Dengue fever: In the East and in the West

The World Health Organization (WHO) says dengue fever is a fast emerging pandemic-prone viral disease in many parts of the world.

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito Image/James Gathany

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito
Image/James Gathany

The incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years. Up to 50-100 million infections are now estimated to occur annually in over 100 endemic countries (with some estimates quite a bit higher), putting almost half of the world’s population at risk.

In Asia, several counties are battling heavy dengue fever seasons in 2015. In Malaysia, health officials continue to report some 300 cases daily with the cumulative case tally now topping 91,000 as of Oct. 1, including 234 deaths.

Selangor State is clearly the hardest hit region with totals of dengue closing in on 50,000 cases alone.

Thailand’s dengue epidemic has crossed the 80,000 mark as of Sep. 28 with 80,951 total dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever and Dengue shock syndrome cases reported since the beginning of the year.

The top five morbidity rates were reported from Rayong (418.30 / 100,000 population.) Petchburi (416.08 / 100,000 population.) Rachaburi (375.99 / 100,000 population.) Trad (325.72 / 100,000 population.) Uthaithani (321.64 / 100,000 population.), according to the Thai Bureau of Epidemiology.

The number of dengue cases in the Philippines has surged recently as health officials saw a 23,000 case increase during the month of August.

Department of Health (DOH)  spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy put the archipelago’s total at 78,808 through Sep. 5.

Taiwan has already seen a record year for dengue fever, particularly heavy in the south. As of Thursday, the Taiwan CDC put the case count at 19,412, already several thousand cases over the previous record set in 2014.

In the Western hemisphere, the total cases are nearing the 2 million mark with Brazil reporting some 1.4 million cases alone in 2015 to date.

Other countries in the Americas seeing a heavy dengue load this year include Mexico (125,199) and Colombia (64,102).

Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala have seen all four dengue serotypes circulating this season.

There has been 851 dengue related fatalities so far with Brazil accounting for nearly eight out of 10.

The United States has reported 323 confirmed dengue fever cases thus far with 90 percent of cases classified as imported.

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease was once called called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

Dengue fever of multiple types is found in most countries of the tropics and subtropics particularly during and after rainy season.

There are four types of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.

People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person.

There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

Follow @bactiman63

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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 podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Dengue fever: In the East and in the West - News Aggregator says:

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