U.S. Health Officials Warn of Increasing Dengue Cases Amid Global Surge


As global dengue cases break records, U.S. health officials alert doctors to watch for symptoms. Climate change and travel are increasing risks of this mosquito-borne virus in the U.S.

United States, Bollywood Fever: U.S. health officials issued a warning on Tuesday for doctors to be vigilant for dengue cases as the tropical disease sets new international records. The virus, spread by mosquitoes, has surged worldwide, exacerbated by climate change. Countries in the Americas have already broken calendar-year records for dengue cases within the first six months of the year.

The World Health Organization declared an emergency in December, followed by Puerto Rico’s public health emergency declaration in March. While dengue is less common in the continental United States, the number of cases this year has tripled compared to the same period last year. Most cases have been linked to international travel, but local mosquitoes also pose a significant threat.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert advising doctors to recognize dengue symptoms, inquire about patients’ recent travel history, and consider dengue testing when appropriate. Dengue is transmitted by a type of mosquito that thrives in warm weather, whose geographic range is expanding due to climate change.

Symptoms of dengue can vary, with some individuals not exhibiting any signs, while others may experience headaches, fever, and flu-like symptoms. Severe cases can lead to serious bleeding, shock, and death. Repeated infections pose additional risks, as there are four types of the dengue virus (1, 2, 3, and 4). A second infection with a different type can be more severe due to antibody-dependent enhancement, where antibodies from the first infection exacerbate the second.

Puerto Rico, having been widely exposed to type 1 dengue over the past two decades, is currently experiencing increases in cases of types 2 and 3, for which the population has little immunity. The island reported its first dengue death of the year last month.

“There is no widely available medicine for treating dengue infections,” said Dr. Gabriela Paz-Bailey, the Puerto Rico-based chief of the CDC’s dengue branch.

Efforts to develop effective vaccines have faced challenges. The U.S. approved a vaccine made by Sanofi Pasteur in 2021, designed to protect against all four dengue types. However, it is only recommended for children aged 9 to 16 with previous dengue infection living in areas where dengue is common, such as Puerto Rico. Due to these restrictions and other issues, the vaccine has seen limited use, with only about 140 children vaccinated in Puerto Rico since 2022. Sanofi Pasteur has also announced it will stop producing the vaccine.

Another vaccine developed by Tokyo-based Takeda is not yet licensed in the U.S., and additional vaccines are still in development.

Globally, dengue infections reached over 6.6 million cases across approximately 80 countries last year. In the first four months of this year, the World Health Organization reported 7.9 million cases and 4,000 deaths, with significant surges in the Americas, including Brazil and Peru.

In the United States, around 3,000 cases were reported last year, marking the highest number in a decade. Most cases occurred in Puerto Rico, but there were also about 180 locally-acquired cases in Florida, Texas, and California. So far this year, nearly 1,500 locally-acquired cases have been reported, predominantly in Puerto Rico. Most continental U.S. cases continue to be associated with international travel.

Dengue’s increasing prevalence is a significant concern for both health officials and travelers. “It’s a traveler’s nightmare and a growing international concern,” said Dr. Lulu Bravo, a pediatric tropical disease expert at the University of the Philippines Manila, who has collaborated with Takeda on its vaccine. “When you have an outbreak in a country, tourists might not want to come,” she added.

As the dengue threat grows, it underscores the need for increased awareness, preventive measures, and continued efforts to develop effective vaccines and treatments.

Source: AP News

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Sachin Chouhan is an avid entertainment enthusiast and dedicated follower of celebrity and entertainment news. He has always had a passion for the latest happenings in the world of entertainment and has made it his mission to stay up-to-date on all the latest trends, news, and gossip. With years of experience following the entertainment industry, Sachin has developed a keen eye for the latest celebrity fashion trends, music releases, movie reviews, and red-carpet events. His in-depth knowledge and expertise have made him a trusted source for entertainment news and celebrity updates. Contact us: admin@bollywoodfever.co.in

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