Dengue fever is massively under-reported in India, hampering our response

BMJ (online) (Impact Factor: 17.45). 12/2012; 345(dec19 17):e8574. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e8574
Source: PubMed
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    • "Asia's contribution is 70% (approx 67 million) toward the apparent infections in the comprehensive global disease burden. India contributes 34% to the global infection which amounts to about 33 million infections (Chakravarti et al., 2012; Wichmann et al., 2011; Kakkar, 2012). The prolific increase in incidence rate over last decade has been connected to societal changes such as population growth and increasing urbanization. "
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    ABSTRACT: Delhi, the capital of India, is an important metropolitan hub for major financial and sociocultural exchanges, offering challenging threats to current public health infrastructure. In recent past, an upsurge of dengue cases in Delhi posed a significant menace to the existing dengue control policies. To reform the control strategies and take timely intervention to prevent future epidemics, an epidemiological study on the proportion of both asymptomatic and symptomatic dengue infections in selected population was conducted. The aim of the study was to investigate and assess the epidemiology of dengue infection and to estimate the proportion of asymptomatic and symptomatic dengue infections in Delhi. In this study, around 50 confirmed dengue cases, a total of 2125 individuals as household and neighbourhood contacts, with or without dengue febrile illness, were finger pricked and serologically detected as dengue positive or negative using SD Duo Bioline Rapid Diagnostic Test (SD Inc, Korea) with NS1, IgM & IgG combo test, which detected dengue virus antigen and antibodies to dengue virus in human blood. Out of 2125 individuals, 768 (36.1%) individuals showed positive dengue test with past (25.5%), primary (1.88%) or secondary (8.8%) dengue infections. Higher percentage of IgG was found in age groups 15-24 years and 25-50 years (36% each). Infants (<1 year) presented higher incidence of new infections (22% of NS1 + IgM positives) as compared to adults. Further analysis revealed that out of the 226 newly infected cases (including NS1 and IgM positives), 142 (63%) were asymptomatic and 84 (37%) were symptomatic, as per WHO guidelines. Our findings also suggest that out of the total population screened, 10.6% dengue infection was either primary or secondary. On the basis of these results, it may be hypothesized that there are large number of asymptomatic dengue infections in the community as compared to reported symptomatic cases in Delhi. For the effective control of dengue transmission in such community like Delhi where dengue epidemics have frequently been encountered, it is essential to ascertain the proportion of asymptomatic dengue infections which may act as a reservoir for dengue transmission, as well as threat for developing dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF).
    Acta tropica 01/2016; 153(01):21-27. DOI:10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.09.025 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dengue is a systemic viral infection transmitted between humans by Aedes mosquitoes. For some patients, dengue is a life-threatening illness. There are currently no licensed vaccines or specific therapeutics, and substantial vector control efforts have not stopped its rapid emergence and global spread. The contemporary worldwide distribution of the risk of dengue virus infection and its public health burden are poorly known. Here we undertake an exhaustive assembly of known records of dengue occurrence worldwide, and use a formal modelling framework to map the global distribution of dengue risk. We then pair the resulting risk map with detailed longitudinal information from dengue cohort studies and population surfaces to infer the public health burden of dengue in 2010. We predict dengue to be ubiquitous throughout the tropics, with local spatial variations in risk influenced strongly by rainfall, temperature and the degree of urbanization. Using cartographic approaches, we estimate there to be 390 million (95% credible interval 284-528) dengue infections per year, of which 96 million (67-136) manifest apparently (any level of clinical or subclinical severity). This infection total is more than three times the dengue burden estimate of the World Health Organization. Stratification of our estimates by country allows comparison with national dengue reporting, after taking into account the probability of an apparent infection being formally reported. The most notable differences are discussed. These new risk maps and infection estimates provide novel insights into the global, regional and national public health burden imposed by dengue. We anticipate that they will provide a starting point for a wider discussion about the global impact of this disease and will help to guide improvements in disease control strategies using vaccine, drug and vector control methods, and in their economic evaluation.
    Nature 04/2013; 496(7446):504-507. DOI:10.1038/nature12060 · 41.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Between 2006 and 2012 India reported an annual average of 20,474 dengue cases. Although dengue has been notifiable since 1996, regional comparisons suggest that reported numbers substantially underrepresent the full impact of the disease. Adjustment for underreporting from a case study in Madurai district and an expert Delphi panel yielded an annual average of 5,778,406 clinically diagnosed dengue cases between 2006 and 2012, or 282 times the reported number per year. The total direct annual medical cost was US$548 million. Ambulatory settings treated 67% of cases representing 18% of costs, whereas 33% of cases were hospitalized, comprising 82% of costs. Eighty percent of expenditures went to private facilities. Including non-medical and indirect costs based on other dengue-endemic countries raises the economic cost to $1.11 billion, or $0.88 per capita. The economic and disease burden of dengue in India is substantially more than captured by officially reported cases, and increased control measures merit serious consideration.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 10/2014; 91(6). DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0002 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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