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Global burden of dengue is triple current estimates
Date:4/7/2013

severity. This is more than triple the WHO's most recent estimates of 50-100 million infections per year.

Professor Simon Hay explains: "We found that climate and population spread were important factors for predicting the current risk of dengue around the world. With globalisation and the constant march of urbanisation, we anticipate that there could be dramatic shifts in the distribution of the disease in the future: the virus may be introduced to areas that previously were not at risk, and those that are currently affected may experience increases in the number of infections.

"We hope that the research will initiate a wider discussion about the significant global impact of this disease."

Of the 96 million apparent infections, Asia bore 70 per cent of the burden. India alone accounted for around one-third of all infections. The results indicate that with 16 million infections, Africa's burden is almost equivalent to that of the Americas and is significantly larger than previously appreciated. The authors suggest that the hidden African dengue burden could be a result of the disease being masked by symptomatically similar illnesses, under-reporting and highly variable treatment-seeking behaviour.

Professor Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust Vietnam Research Programme and Oxford University Clinical Research Unit Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Vietnam, explains that the map and estimates produced by Hay's group set the benchmark for the disease: "This is the first systematic robust estimate of the extent of dengue. The evidence that we've gathered here will help to maximise the value and cost-effectiveness of public health and clinical efforts, by indicating where limited resources can be targeted for maximum possible impact

With endemic transmission in Asia and the Americas, recent outbreaks in Portugal, the ever-increasing incidence in Africa, and the challenges of making an effective dengue vaccine or cont
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Contact: Jen Middleton
j.middleton@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7262
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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