This special issue (2010) addresses the cost and burden of dengue and chikungunya from the Americas to Asia. The World Health Organization (WHO), sponsor of the Dengue Bulletin, deserves commendation for its decision to publish this special issue (2010) in recognition of the importance and growing burden of dengue and chikungunya.
While the combined efforts of international and national public health systems have been successful in controlling many infectious diseases, a few, unfortunately, remain stubbornly present. Dengue is among them. Important factors behind the increase in dengue incidence are increasing urbanization, crowding, and spiraling international travel.
Nevertheless new preventive strategies are now showing promise. A dengue vaccine is entering Phase 3 clinical testing after successfully completing Phase 2 clinical testing.[2-3] A controlled release to test genetically modified mosquitoes in Asia is expected to begin in 2011.
Each of these control measures, however, requires resources to develop and implement. Quantification of the disease burden in both monetary and human terms is a key tool for health policy-makers. That tool allows them to assess trends over time, to compare dengue and chikungunya against other diseases, and to compare one geographical area with another. It can also allow health practitioners to compare one subgroup of patients with another or select one preventive strategy to guide prevention and treatment most appropriately.
This special issue examines both dengue and chikungunya because the two related viral diseases have similar symptoms of acute fever and joint pain, and are transmitted by the same vectors, the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti
|Contact: Susan Chaityn Lebovits|