Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health

: 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 481--482

Exploring the geographical burden and responding to the threat of the spread of dengue infection to the unaffected nations

Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy 
 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Exploring the geographical burden and responding to the threat of the spread of dengue infection to the unaffected nations.Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:481-482

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Exploring the geographical burden and responding to the threat of the spread of dengue infection to the unaffected nations. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Jun 4 ];10:481-482
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Full Text

Dear Sir,

Dengue fever is a re-emerging disease that is endemic in the tropical regions and in the recent years has been reported throughout the world.[1] It is a mosquito-borne viral disease transmitted predominantly by Aedes aegypti, with the recent estimates being so high that almost half of the world's entire population is at significant risk of acquiring the infection.[1] In fact, the disease is endemic in more than 100 nations, with Southeast Asia, America, and Western Pacific regions being the worst affected.[1],[2] Further, in 2015, in excess of 2.3 million cases of the disease were reported in the Americas region itself, of which more than 10,000 were diagnosed as severe dengue, accounting for close to 1200 deaths.[1]

However, the actual estimates of the disease are expected to be much higher with a large number of cases being either underreported or misclassified.[2] From an epidemiologist's perspective, some of the serotypes of the causative virus were found to be hyperendemic in most of the nation and have resulted in a massive influence on both human health, as well as the growth of the nation's economy.[1],[2],[3] This is primarily due to the millions of people, including children requiring hospital admissions for the management of severe forms of the disease, resulting in a burden on the health system and the family member of the affected person.[1],[2],[3]

Apart from the sudden increase in the number of cases in the last couple of decades, the program managers have to also respond to the challenge of spread of the disease in those geographical regions where it did not exist before (namely., cases notified in Japan after seven decades), or to promptly respond to the outbreaks reported across the various nations (like in 2015 in Brazil, India, etc.).[2],[3] Such findings have been attributed to the increased geographical distribution of the vector, rise in the urban population, the unplanned rise in urban settlements, the increase in international travel, and marked changes in the local environmental attributes (such as rainfall, temperature, and humidity), and all of these factors have allowed the number of cases to increase to a great extent.[1],[2],[3],[4]

Clinically, the disease has a varied presentation, with an unpredictable course or even the involvement of multiple organs, bleeding tendencies, and signs of circulatory collapse.[3] Even though there is no specific treatment available for the disease or its severe forms, yet early detection of the infection and prompt medical attention including maintenance of patient's fluid volume can minimize the fatality rates to [1] From the prophylaxis perspective, the first dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia has been registered in many nations for targeting people living in endemic regions.[1] Nevertheless, the results for the vaccine effectiveness are yet to be analyzed.[1] Thus, currently, the only method to control or prevent the transmission of the virus is through effective mosquito control measures, depending on the breeding habits, resting habits, time of biting, and evidence of insecticide resistance.[2],[3]

However, to ensure considerable gains to control the disease, there is a great need for the nations to strengthen their laboratory system to confirm the existence of outbreak at the earliest, formulate evidence-based strategies and policies, develop a prospective early warning system for the disease, increase community awareness about the disease, and how it spreads, develop technical guidelines for the effective management of outbreaks, improve the surveillance network to obtain precise estimates, provide training to health professionals on clinical management, diagnosis, and vector control, and encourage research work on the molecular features of the disease or initiation of newer preventive measures for population at risk.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

To conclude, considerable gains against the disease can be achieved worldwide, provided each of the nations develops a system to promptly diagnose the outbreak and initiate recommended measures for the vector control and patient management.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1World Health Organization. Dengue and Severe Dengue – Fact Sheet; 2016. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Mar 24].
2Nedjadi T, El-Kafrawy S, Sohrab SS, Desprès P, Damanhouri G, Azhar E. Tackling dengue fever: Current status and challenges. Virol J 2015;12:212.
3Tantawichien T. Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever in adults. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2015;46 Suppl 1:79-98.
4Choi Y, Tang CS, McIver L, Hashizume M, Chan V, Abeyasinghe RR, et al. Effects of weather factors on dengue fever incidence and implications for interventions in Cambodia. BMC Public Health 2016;16:241.
5Chang SC. Raising clinical awareness for better dengue fever outbreak control. J Formos Med Assoc 2015;114:1025-6.