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Dengue spreading fast, says WHO

In Dengue Fever, Uncategorized on January 21, 2013 at 8:35 am

January 20, 2013 in Health & Fitness

Dengue is the world’s fastest-spreading tropical disease and represents a “pandemic threat,” infecting an estimated 50 million people across all continents, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Report by Reuters

Transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes, the disease is occurring more widely due to increased movement of people and goods — including carrier objects such as bamboo plants and used tyres — as well as floods linked to climate change, the United Nations agency said.

The viral disease, which affected only a handful of areas in the 1950s, is now present in more than 125 countries — significantly more than malaria, historically the most notorious mosquito-borne disease.

The most advanced vaccine against dengue is only 30% effective, trials last year showed.

“In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years,” the WHO said in a statement.

Late last year, Europe suffered its first sustained outbreak since the 1920s, with 2 000 people infected on the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira.

Worldwide, two million cases of dengue are reported each year by 100 countries, mainly in Asia, Africa and Latin America, causing 5 000 to 6 000 deaths, said Raman Velayudhan, a specialist at the WHO’s control of neglected tropical diseases department.

But the true number is far higher as the disease has spread exponentially and is now present on all continents, he said.

“The WHO estimates that on average about 50 million cases occur every year. This is a very conservative estimate,” Velayudhan said, adding that some independent studies put the figure at 100 million.

“Dengue is the most threatening and fastest spreading mosquito-borne disease. It is pandemic-prone, but it is a threat only. Definitely a bigger threat now than ever,” he said

Malaria caused more deaths but was on the decline, affecting fewer than 100 countries.

Speaking to a news briefing after the WHO released a report on 17 neglected tropical diseases affecting 1 billion people, Velayudhan said: “The mosquito has silently expanded its distribution.

“So today you have [the] aedes mosquito in over 150 countries. The threat of dengue exists all across the globe.”

In Europe, the aedes mosquitoes that cause both dengue and chikungya disease have spread to 18 countries, often via the importation of ornamental bamboo or second-hand tires, he said.

“But we are trying to address this in a more systematic way, by controlling entry of vectors at points of entry — seaports, airports, as well as the ground crossings,” Velayudhan said, noting that it was hard to detect mosquitoes and their eggs.

The WHO also said it aimed to eliminate globally two neglected tropical diseases, dracunculiasis, known as guinea worm disease, in 2015, and yaws, or treponematoses, in 2020.

Symptoms of dengue

Dengue causes flu-like symptoms that subside in a few days in some sufferers. But the severe form of the disease requires hospitalisation for complications, including severe bleeding, that may be lethal.

There is no specific treatment but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%, according to the Geneva-based WHO.

“You have to bear in mind that it has no treatment and vaccines are still in the research stage,” Velayudhan said.

The most advanced, being developed by French drugmaker Sanofi SA, proved only 30% effective in a large clinical trial in Thailand, far less than hoped, according to results published in September.

But researchers said it did show for the first time that a safe vaccine was possible.

Diagnostic Test Approved for Dengue

In Dengue Fever, Malaria, Uncategorized on June 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm
June 21 2012

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received approval from the FDA for a new diagnostic test to detect the presence of dengue virus in people with symptoms of dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever. The test, called the CDC DENV-1-4 Real Time RT PCR Assay, can be performed using equipment and supplies many public health laboratories already use to run  influenza Real-Time PCR assays.

The new test will help diagnose dengue within the first seven days after symptoms of the illness appear, which is when most people are likely to see a health care professional and the dengue virus is likely to be present in their blood. The test can identify all four dengue virus types. It is the first FDA-approved molecular test for dengue that detects evidence of the virus itself.

Dengue is caused by any of the four virus types, which are transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Travelers returning from Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean are most at risk for contracting dengue. Symptoms of dengue include high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, mild bleeding involving mucous membranes, and easy bruising. There are no FDA-licensed vaccines available for this illness.

Diagnostic kits will be available for distribution beginning July 2, 2012.

For more information call (800) 232-4636 or visit www.cdc.gov/Dengue.

 

http://www.empr.com/diagnostic-test-approved-for-dengue/article/246795/

31 Deaths: Toll from Dengue Mounts in Latin America

In Dengue Fever on February 14, 2011 at 9:14 am
Amazon Rainforest created by משתמש:בן הטבע

Image via Wikipedia

By Marina de Russe (AFP) – 3 days ago

MONTEVIDEO — An outbreak of dengue fever across much of Latin America has killed 31 people since the start of the year and is showing no sign of relenting.

There is no vaccine for dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease endemic to tropical regions across the world, including Asia and Africa.

Since January 1, nearly 46,600 confirmed or suspected cases have been detected in the region, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

Those deaths include at least 14 in Peru’s northeastern Amazon jungle region, eight in Colombia, five in Paraguay and four in Bolivia.

In 2010 the disease killed 1,187 people across Latin America, according to Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) figures. Some 1.8 million cases were detected, the PAHO said.

“The Americas has seen a dengue epidemic over the past years, with an increase in certain countries,” said PAHO spokesman Daniel Epstein. In Venezuela, for example, 125,000 cases were reported in 2010, nearly twice the figure from the previous year.

In Peru, health authorities recently declared a red alert in Peru’s northern Amazon jungle region following the outbreak of what they described as a “very aggressive” dengue strain.

Dengue is endemic to the jungle region, but until now Peru has largely dealt with the American strain of the disease.

Now authorities are facing “a new variety that we did not know in Peru and that probably entered from Brazil via the Amazon,” Health Minister Oscar Ugarte told local reporters on Tuesday.

A senior Peruvian health official, Hugo Rodriguez, told AFP that the strain is known as the Asian-American variety, and unlike the American variety produces severe shock among victims.

“It is a combination of both varieties,” Rodriguez said.

Peru, Paraguay and Cuba have begun fumigation programs in an attempt to diminish the number of mosquitos.

Brazil launched an ad campaign that features a national football team star kicking a ball at an animated mosquito dressed with the colors of Argentina, its historic football rival.

In Colombia, health authorities are keeping a sharp eye out for cases after unusually heavy rain in December and January, the National Health Institute said.

The Aedes mosquito that transmits the disease lives in urban areas and lays its larvae in stagnant water, the PAHO said.

“The main tool to fight dengue is education,” Epstein said.

People must learn to drain all stagnant water from pots, buckets, and any outside containers where the mosquitoes could lay their larvae, he said.

Dengue especially affects the poor who have no running water and rely on water containers.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) figures, there are some 50 million cases of dengue around the world each year. Of those, half a million are of the potentially deadly hemorrhagic variety. Link

 

Dengue Infected More than 1.5 Million People in Latin America Last Year

In Dengue Fever on January 17, 2011 at 11:08 am

Governments throughout Latin America are ramping up dengue prevention campaigns after 1.5 million people were infected and over 1,000 people in the region died of the disease in 2010.

There have already been deaths from dengue fever this year, the most recent one in Perú, where the deaths are exceeding hospital capacity – and it has forced the city hospital to install 40 additional beds. The latest death brings to five the total number of dengue deaths in Perú this year.

In Bolivia, there were six dengue deaths in 2010. The country’s health officials are in high alert after 17 were sickened by the disease so far this year, Health Minister Mauricio Rousseau told Efe. Dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause hemorrhaging or organ dysfunction.

“There were three deaths that may have been caused by dengue although they have not been clinically confirmed,” Rousseau said. “But all indications have shown they were related to dengue.”
Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2011/01/15/latin-american-governments-launch-dengue-prevention-efforts-disease-kills/#ixzz1BJEmf7p4

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2011/01/15/latin-american-governments-launch-dengue-prevention-efforts-disease-kills/

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