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Posts Tagged ‘DHF’

Dengue Fever Kills 204 in Taiwan

Posted by feww on December 16, 2015

Taiwan confirms nine new deaths from dengue fever; 204 killed since May

Heath authorities in Taiwan have confirmed nine new deaths from dengue fever, raising the death toll to 204 since May this year, a report quoted the country’s disease control agency as saying.

On average, the patients died within 6 days of showing symptoms, the agency reported.

The latest fatalities occurred in Kaohsiung city, south Taiwan. The victims, five male and four female, were aged between 55 and 82.

The total number of dengue fever cases has climbed to 41,947  with the majority recorded in Kaohsiung and Tainan, two of the largest cities in south Taiwan, said the report.

The outbreak is said to be the worst ever recorded. Last year, 15,732 cases and 28 deaths were reported, an eight-fold rise compared with previous numbers of about 2,000 cases annually.

Epidemiology of dengue []

Dengue is currently regarded globally as the most important mosquito-borne viral disease. A history of symptoms compatible with dengue can be traced back to the Chin Dynasty of 265–420 AD. The virus and its vectors have now become widely distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world, particularly over the last half-century. Significant geographic expansion has been coupled with rapid increases in incident cases, epidemics, and hyperendemicity, leading to the more severe forms of dengue. Transmission of dengue is now present in every World Health Organization (WHO) region of the world and more than 125 countries are known to be dengue endemic. The true impact of dengue globally is difficult to ascertain due to factors such as inadequate disease surveillance, misdiagnosis, and low levels of reporting. Currently available data likely grossly underestimates the social, economic, and disease burden. Estimates of the global incidence of dengue infections per year have ranged between 50 million and 200 million; however, recent estimates using cartographic approaches suggest this number is closer to almost 400 million.


Dengue is an acute mosquito-borne viral infection that places a significant socioeconomic and disease burden on many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is currently regarded as the most important arboviral disease internationally as over 50% of the world’s population live in areas where they are at risk of the disease, and approximately 50% live in dengue endemic countries.

Dengue virus

There are four distinct dengue virus serotypes, all of which originate from the family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus. The serotypes are termed DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4, and infection with any of the four viruses results in lifelong immunity to that specific serotype. Each of the four serotypes has been individually found to be responsible for dengue epidemics and associated with more severe dengue.

Transmission of the Dengue Virus [CDC]

With a newly-obtained fiery red blood meal visible through her transparent abdomen, the now heavy female Aedes aegypti mosquito took flight as she left her host’s skin surface. Photo Credit: James Gathany/ CDC

Dengue is transmitted between people by the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which are found throughout the world.  Insects that transmit disease are vectors.  Symptoms of infection usually begin 4 – 7 days after the mosquito bite and typically last 3 – 10 days.  In order for transmission to occur the mosquito must feed on a person during a 5- day period when large amounts of virus are in the blood; this period usually begins a little before the person become symptomatic.  Some people never have significant symptoms but can still infect mosquitoes.  After entering the mosquito in the blood meal, the virus will require an additional 8-12 days incubation before it can then be transmitted to another human. The mosquito remains infected for the remainder of its life, which might be days or a few weeks.

In rare cases dengue can be transmitted in organ transplants or blood transfusions from infected donors, and there is evidence of transmission from an infected pregnant mother to her fetus.  But in the vast majority of infections, a mosquito bite is responsible.

In many parts of the tropics and subtropics, dengue is endemic, that is, it occurs every year, usually during a season when Aedes mosquito populations are high, often when rainfall is optimal for breeding.  These areas are, however, additionally at periodic risk for epidemic dengue, when large numbers of people become infected during a short period.  Dengue epidemics require a coincidence of large numbers of vector mosquitoes, large numbers of people with no immunity to one of the four virus types (DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3, DENV 4), and the opportunity for contact between the two.  Although Aedes are common in the southern U. S., dengue is endemic in northern Mexico, and the U.S. population has no immunity, the lack of dengue transmission in the continental U.S. is primarily because contact between people and the vectors is too infrequent to sustain transmission.

Dengue is an Emerging Disease

The four dengue viruses originated in monkeys and independently jumped to humans in Africa or Southeast Asia between 100 and 800 years ago.  Dengue remained a relatively minor, geographically restricted disease until the middle of the 20th century.  The disruption of the second world war – in particular the coincidental transport of Aedes mosquitoes around the world in cargo –  are thought to have played a crucial role in the dissemination of the viruses.  DHF was first documented only in the 1950s during epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand.  It was not until 1981 that large numbers of DHF cases began to appear in the Carribean and Latin America, where highly effective Aedes control programs had been in place until the early 1970s.

Dengue is endemic in at least 125 countries

Dengue is endemic in more than 125 countries in Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean.

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Global Health Emergencies

Posted by feww on July 31, 2013

State of emergency declared in Honduras as dengue fever death toll rises

Honduras government has declared a state of emergency after a dengue fever outbreak that has killed 16 people and infected more than 12,000 others, local media reported.

The mosquito-borne  disease has infected more than half of the municipalities in the country.

The Health Minister has declared a national priority to control mosquitoes.

It is very difficult to control or eliminate Ae. aegypti mosquitoes because they have adaptations to the environment that make them highly resilient, or with the ability to rapidly bounce back to initial numbers after disturbances resulting from natural phenomena (e.g., droughts) or human interventions (e.g., control measures). One such adaptation is the ability of the eggs to withstand desiccation (drying) and to survive without water for several months on the inner walls of containers. For example, if we were to eliminate all larvae, pupae, and adult Ae. aegypti at once from a site, its population could recover two weeks later as a result of egg hatching following rainfall or the addition of water to containers harboring eggs. [CDC]

Of the 12,135 reported cases, some 1,839 are suspected to be of the potentially fatal Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which can lead to internal bleeding and shock -like state.



One new case of HIV/AIDS reported in the Philippines every 2 hours

One new case of HIV/AIDS infection has been reported every two hours in the Philippines so far this year, according to the Department of Health’s National Epidemiology Center (DOH-NEC).

Since 2007,  a steady increase in HIV cases has been recorded by the center. “In 2000, there was one case registered every three days; in 2011, this number grew to one case every three hours.”

In May 2013 some 415 new HIV cases were recorded, with 55 percent of cases being among people aged 20-29.

In June, 431 new HIV cases were registered, bringing the total number for the first half of this year to 2,323, the center said.

The June total was 46 percent higher than a year ago and the “highest number of cases reported in a month,” said DOH-NEC.

Since 1987, when HIV was first discovered in the Philippines, DOH-NEC has recorded 13,594 cases.

“Tip of the iceberg”

Many consider this official number is just the “tip of the iceberg” because less than 1 percent of the general population are tested for HIV, so officially registered cases are unlikely to accurately reflect the epidemic, said UN-OCHA.

“We project that the number of infected will reach 39,000-50,000 by 2015,” said the executive director of The Library Foundation Sexuality, Health and Rights Educators Collective, Inc., an NGO member of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC), the country’s central advisory body on HIV/AIDS.


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Mutant Mosquito Swarms to Be Unleashed in Florida

Posted by feww on December 8, 2012


[December 8, 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,190 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 ...


Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes? What could possibly go wrong?!

Aedes aegypti, aka the yellow fever mosquito, is a vector for transmitting several tropical disease viruses including dengue fever, Chikungunya (CHIKV) and yellow fever.

This 2006 photograph depicts a female Aedes aegypti mosquito as she acquires  a blood meal from her human host, the biomedical photographer, James Gathany, at the Centers for Disease Control.  Dengue fever is caused by four virus strains spread by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. (Photo Credit: James Gathany/University of Notre Dame).

  • Dengue fever is a virus-caused tropical disease that is spread by mosquitoes, especially Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
  • Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are an invasive, domestic species with tropical and subtropical worldwide distribution that originated in Africa.
  • The mosquito aquatic cycle, the life cycle from egg to larvae, pupae, and to an adult mosquito, takes 7-8 days and occurs in water.
  • The life span for adult mosquitoes is about 3-4 weeks.
  • Only the female mosquito bites for blood, which she needs to produce eggs.
  • Female mosquitoes lay dozens of eggs up to 5 times during their life time.
  • Florida scientists have proposed to unleash swarms of genetically modified male mosquitoes into the ecosystem in the hope that the mutant mosquitoes, ‘dubbed Frankenflies,’ would mate with healthy females and pass on their lab-engineered deadly birth defects.
  • A Florida Keys resident has posted a petition, “Say No to Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Release in the Florida Keys,” on
    • “Even though the local community in the Florida Keys has spoken – we even passed an ordinance demanding more testing – Oxitec is trying to use a loophole by applying to the FDA for an ‘animal bug’ patent. This could mean these mutant mosquitoes could be released at any point against the wishes of locals and the scientific community. We need to make sure the FDA does not approve Oxitec’s patent.” The petition says.“Nearly all experiments with genetically-modified crops have eventually resulted in unintended consequences: superweeds more resistant to herbicides, mutated and resistant insects also collateral damage to ecosystems. A recent news story reported that the monarch butterfly population is down by half in areas where Roundup Ready GM crops are doused with ultra-high levels of herbicides that wipe out the monarch’s favorite milkweed plant.”

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background


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