Dengue Alarms Surge as U.S. Health Officials Warn of Growing Threat

U.S. health officials raised alarms on Tuesday regarding the increasing threat of dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, as global cases skyrocket. Climate change has facilitated the spread, shattering records in the Americas. The CDC advises caution, emphasizing the importance of recognizing symptoms and considering travel history for potential dengue infections.

PTI | Newyork | Updated: 26-06-2024 04:23 IST | Created: 26-06-2024 04:23 IST
Dengue Alarms Surge as U.S. Health Officials Warn of Growing Threat
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In an urgent advisory, U.S. health officials on Tuesday called on doctors to remain vigilant for dengue cases as the tropical disease reaches unprecedented levels globally.

Driven by climate change, the virus has surged, breaking records in the Americas within just six months. The World Health Organization issued an emergency in December, while Puerto Rico followed with a public health emergency in March.

Although dengue remains relatively rare in the continental U.S., cases have tripled this year compared to the same period last year, primarily among travelers. Local mosquitoes still pose a significant threat, the CDC warns.

The CDC's health alert urges doctors to be aware of dengue symptoms, inquire about recent travel, and consider diagnostic dengue tests when necessary. The virus, spread by warm-weather mosquitoes, often goes undetected due to non-specific symptoms but can lead to severe complications and fatalities.

Dr. Gabriela Paz-Bailey from the CDC emphasized the increased danger posed by multiple infections, particularly in Puerto Rico, which has limited immunity against certain dengue types.

Despite some advancements, including a vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur, treatment options remain limited. The vaccine, recommended for children in high-risk areas, has seen poor uptake and Sanofi plans to halt its production. New vaccines are under development, including one from Takeda.

Globally, the situation is dire, with over 7.9 million cases and 4,000 deaths reported in the first four months of 2023. While local cases in the U.S. remain modest, the increasing trend and international implications pose significant challenges.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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