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Published On: Sun, Apr 7th, 2013

New research estimates 390 million people infected with dengue fever annually

The World Health Organization (WHO) says on their recent fact sheet that they currently estimate there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, new research published April 7 in the journal, Nature, shows that the occurrence may actually be about four-times higher.

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito Image/James Gathany

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito
Image/James Gathany

Researchers from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.

Fortunately, the majority, nearly 300 million cases are mild, and don’t require medical attention.

The Washington Post reports the WHO said it wasn’t surprised by the higher estimates. “We fully agree the spectrum of dengue is very wide and there was every chance we were missing cases,” said Raman Velayudhan, the agency’s global dengue coordinator. WHO was not involved in the new research.

“These new 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 to guide improvements in disease control strategies using vaccine, drug and vector control methods, and in their economic evaluation”, researchers add.

There are currently no licensed vaccines for the prevention or specific drugs for the treatment of this mosquito borne viral disease.

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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. PAHO issues a dengue fever epidemic alert for Central America as rainy season begins - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] New research estimates 390 million people infected with dengue fever annually […]

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