Yes. All types of dengue virus are re-emerging
worldwide and causing larger and more frequent epidemics,
especially in cities in the tropics. The emergence of
dengue as a major public health problem has been most
dramatic in the western hemisphere. Dengue fever has reached epidemic levels in Central America and is
threatening the United States.Several factors are contributing
to the resurgence of dengue fever: No effective mosquito
control efforts are underway in most countries with dengue.
Public health systems to detect and control epidemics
are deteriorating around the world.
Rapid growth of cities
in tropical countries has led to overcrowding, urban decay,
and substandard sanitation, allowing more mosquitoes to
live closer to more people. The increase in non-biodegradable
plastic packaging and discarded tires is creating new
breeding sites for mosquitoes. Increased jet air travel
is helping people infected with dengue viruses to move
easily from city to city. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is also on the rise. Persons who have been infected with
one or more forms of dengue virus are at greater risk
for the more severe disease. With the increase in all
types of virus, the occurrence of dengue hemorrhagic
fever becomes more likely.
What is the difference between
suspected and probable case of dengue?
If a patient suspected to be having dengue has
reduced platelets or an increase in blood haematocrit,
then the patient has probable dengue. These additional
findings make dengue more likely. (Platelets are cells
in blood that help to stop bleeding. Haematocrit indicates
the thickness of blood).
How can dengue be prevented?
There is no vaccine to prevent dengue. Prevention
centers on avoiding mosquito bites when traveling to areas
where dengue occurs and when in U.S. areas, especially
along the Texas-Mexico border, where dengue might occur.
Eliminating mosquito breeding sites in these areas is
another key prevention measure.Avoid mosquito bites when
traveling in tropical areas:Use mosquito repellents on
skin and clothing. When outdoors during times that mosquitoes are biting, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked
into socks. Avoid heavily populated residential areas.
When indoors, stay in air-conditioned or screened areas.
Use bednets if sleeping areas are not screened or air-conditioned.
If you have symptoms of dengue, report your travel history
to your doctor. Eliminate mosquito breeding sites in areas
where dengue might occur:Eliminate mosquito breeding sites
around homes. Discard items that can collect rain or run-off
water, especially old tires. Regularly change the water
in outdoor bird baths and pet and animal water containers.