April 30, 2016

Dengue Fever

What geographic areas are at high risk for contracting dengue fever? (continued)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that from 1946 to 1980, no cases of dengue acquired in the continental United States were reported. Since 1980, a few locally acquired U.S. cases have been confirmed along the Texas-Mexico border, temporally associated with large outbreaks in neighboring Mexican cities.

A 2009 outbreak of dengue fever in the Florida town of Key West involved three patients who did not travel outside of the U.S. contracted the virus. Subsequent testing of the population of Key West has shown that up to 5% of the people living in the area have antibodies to dengue. In total, 28 people were diagnosed with dengue fever in this outbreak. In 2015, 210 people were diagnosed with dengue on the Big Island of Hawaii. This is the largest outbreak in Hawaii since 2001, when 122 people were diagnosed with dengue.

Dengue fever is common in at least 100 countries in Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean. Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia have all reported an increase in cases.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 390 million cases of dengue fever worldwide, and 96 million require medical treatment. Five hundred thousand cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever, the most severe form of dengue, require hospitalization each year. Nearly 40% of the world's population lives in an area endemic with dengue. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 22,000 deaths occur yearly, mostly among children. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 4/28/2016