Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Dengue represents a 21st-century worldwide health crisis. What doctors should know.

By nr39r Mar23,2024
News

Approximately a half million cases of dengue fever and 19,685 fatalities were reported across the globe in the year 2000.

Worldwide, there were approximately 5 million cases and 30,000 deaths reported by the year 2019, making it the highest number ever recorded. In the coming year, it is anticipated that the numbers will be higher than the record set in 2019.(1) [1]

A total of one million instances of the virus and 214 fatalities were reported in Brazil during the first two months of the year 2024. 1.6 million cases of the virus were reported in Brazil over the entire year of 2023, making this the fastest spread of the virus ever documented in that country. Dengue fever is a persistent and widespread infectious disease that is a concern in Brazil as well as other nations in South America, the Pacific Islands, and South and Southeast Asia. For the month of March in the year 2024, it was revealed by specialists that dengue fever is prevalent in 85% of Brazil’s municipalities. Furthermore, in São Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil, it is predicted that 300 out of every 100,000 individuals are considered to be infected with dengue.2 [2][3]:

Other countries, in addition to Brazil, have also experienced increases in dengue fever during the first three months of 2024. On February 26, 2024, Peru declared a state of emergency across the majority of the country. This was in response to the fact that the total number of cases had increased to 31,300 in the first eight weeks of the year. Over seventy-four thousand instances have been reported in Argentina since the beginning of this year, which represents a staggering increase of 2,100% compared to the same time period in 2023. Beginning in January and continuing through February of this year, there were over 15,000 cases of dengue fever reported in Sri Lanka. Since the beginning of this year, the city of Hanoi, which serves as the capital of Vietnam, has reported 513 instances of dengue. This represents a threefold increase in the number of cases when compared to the same time period in 2023.[4]:(1) [1](5) [5](6) [6]

In recent years, dengue fever has also spread to previously unexplored regions. To give just one example, in the year 2022, Niger reported its very first incidence of dengue fever. There have been a few instances of dengue fever reported in the United States over the course of the past year, with the first known transmission occurring in the state of California.

In some developing countries, newly constructed metropolitan areas might be excellent settings for mosquitoes. The number of mosquitoes can rapidly expand in regions with dense populations, high temperatures, and inadequate sanitary standards. According to Dawn Wesson, an expert on mosquitoes and an Associate Professor of Tropical Medicine at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University, the development of these habitats outside of planned city centers is one of the most significant reasons leading to the increase in dengue fever that has been observed all over the world.

Unplanned development on the fringes of large cities is frequently accompanied by water insecurity, which causes people to store water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and basic hygiene needs. This is a problem because people need water for all of these things. According to Wesson, “the mosquitoes, which are the primary vectors of dengue, create the ideal habitat for the mosquitoes when they are able to store water in containers.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies climate change as an additional issue that is of great importance. Increases in average temperatures have resulted in a number of effects, including the lengthening of rainy seasons, an increase in humidity, and improved circumstances for the reproduction of mosquitoes in certain regions. There has been an increase in the number of people traveling around the world in recent years, which has contributed to the spread of dengue fever. Many people who travel to high-dengue areas come home with the virus without even realizing it.

Dengue infections may not always result in symptoms; there are some individuals who carry the virus but do not exhibit any symptoms related to it. Those who are not affected may experience slight symptoms that go away within a week or so.

There are other circumstances in which a dengue infection might be quite severe. It is possible for patients to feel significant abdominal pain as well as vomiting. There is a possibility of organ failure, as well as death. There is a wide range of estimates on the death rates associated with dengue fever around the world. Brazil is making a hasty effort to implement the TAK-003 vaccine. Clinical trials demonstrated that the cumulative vaccine efficacy against dengue over a period of five years was greater than 84% in terms of preventing hospitalizations linked to dengue.[10] [10]

At this time, more vaccinations are being developed. However, the Butantan-Dengue Vaccine, often known as Butantan D-V, is a one-dose vaccine that was produced by the Brazilian Butantan Institute. As of right now, the Butantan D-V has been put through three phases of clinical studies; it has demonstrated an efficacy rate of eighty percent and has been demonstrated to be safe for individuals who have never had dengue. It is possible that the vaccine will be licensed in the year 2025 if the studies continue to be effective.[11] [11]

A comprehensive strategy is being implemented by health professionals in Brazil and around the world to prevent dengue fever. This strategy goes beyond the development and distribution of vaccinations. Steps that are similar to those done to prevent malaria and other mosquito-carried infections are essential to the development of public health prevention plans. These steps include the utilization of traditional mosquito nets, the wearing of clothing with long sleeves, the covering of open water sources, and the application of insect repellant in areas that are prone to dengue.

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