Intended for healthcare professionals


Burden of dengue fever is higher than previously thought

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 16 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6280
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

Governments are seriously underestimating the numbers of people infected with dengue fever, a conference in London has heard.

Simon Hay, professor of epidemiology at Oxford University, told an International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases conference on 15 October that when he and a team from the Spatial Ecology and Epidemiology Group at Oxford undertook a sophisticated mapping exercise to project the burden of the disease their figures were far greater than previous estimates.1

The mapping process found 390 million dengue infections in 2010, occurring in 106 countries. Of that number 96 million were serious enough for patients to seek medical attention. The study authors said that this was more than three times the number of infections—50 to 100 million—the World Health Organization had previously estimated.

The Aedes aegypti …

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