Visualization of the dengue fever virus. Courtesy of 3dciencia 
A fever run amok
Its name – dengue fever – vaguely suggests some sort of infectious tropical disease and, until relatively recently, that’s exactly what it was. Until 1970, the ailment characterized by symptoms like fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash resembling the measles was endemic to just nine tropical nations, according to the World Health Organization.
Now cases of dengue fever (also colloquially known as breakbone fever) have been reported in more than 110 countries and, according to a new paper in Nature, the annual infection rate may be as many as 400 million cases worldwide, four times higher than the WHO’s prevalence estimate.
“Not only are the number of cases increasing, the geographic range is increasing,” study co-author Thomas Scott, an entomologist at UC Davis, told NPR. “So (dengue) is spreading in to areas where it was not previously, but we are also seeing more and more cases.”
Climate change is one driving factor, according to some scientists. As more of the planet gets warmer, more of the planet becomes amenable to mosquitoes that carry and transmit the virus.
The latest study also blames the spread on the growth of overcrowded slums with poor sanitation.
“People living in substandard conditions where they’re storing water and they don’t have proper disposal of waste [are more at risk],” said Scott. “Rainwater accumulates in containers and the mosquito that transmits this virus, Aedes aegypti, then lays its eggs in those places.”
Often, dengue produces no or mild symptoms, which may be part of the reason it is under-reported. For a small percentage, however, the infection can develop into life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever characterized by bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

Visualization of the dengue fever virus. Courtesy of 3dciencia

A fever run amok

Its name – dengue fever – vaguely suggests some sort of infectious tropical disease and, until relatively recently, that’s exactly what it was. Until 1970, the ailment characterized by symptoms like fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash resembling the measles was endemic to just nine tropical nations, according to the World Health Organization.

Now cases of dengue fever (also colloquially known as breakbone fever) have been reported in more than 110 countries and, according to a new paper in Nature, the annual infection rate may be as many as 400 million cases worldwide, four times higher than the WHO’s prevalence estimate.

“Not only are the number of cases increasing, the geographic range is increasing,” study co-author Thomas Scott, an entomologist at UC Davis, told NPR. “So (dengue) is spreading in to areas where it was not previously, but we are also seeing more and more cases.”

Climate change is one driving factor, according to some scientists. As more of the planet gets warmer, more of the planet becomes amenable to mosquitoes that carry and transmit the virus.

The latest study also blames the spread on the growth of overcrowded slums with poor sanitation.

“People living in substandard conditions where they’re storing water and they don’t have proper disposal of waste [are more at risk],” said Scott. “Rainwater accumulates in containers and the mosquito that transmits this virus, Aedes aegypti, then lays its eggs in those places.”

Often, dengue produces no or mild symptoms, which may be part of the reason it is under-reported. For a small percentage, however, the infection can develop into life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever characterized by bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

Notes

  1. diegoangar reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  2. swampslogger reblogged this from afracturedreality
  3. gilliebeanbaby reblogged this from cacajao
  4. cacajao reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  5. epdmh reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences and added:
    Hoy en el programa a través de Mujer 1310 AM hablamos del virus del dengue. Hay una idea generalizada de que el mosquito...
  6. theanalyticalwallflower reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  7. biolosophy-grainofrice reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  8. johnwatsonismycopilot reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  9. mangy-mongrel reblogged this from afracturedreality
  10. afracturedreality reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  11. diannasoctopus reblogged this from themicrobiologist
  12. furrytreehugger reblogged this from thefoxnextdoor
  13. thefoxnextdoor reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  14. sympa-n reblogged this from 3rd-planet-from-the-sun
  15. 3rd-planet-from-the-sun reblogged this from themicrobiologist
  16. minamax reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  17. nguyenmp reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences and added:
    Hmmm
  18. x6 reblogged this from scinerds
  19. toshiba-uk-mobile-phones-xperia reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  20. norio-sasaki-toshiba-jetro-usa reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  21. ashliekunich reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  22. bluedodi reblogged this from themicrobiologist
  23. ehbiencherie reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  24. mahreeposah reblogged this from knowledgeequalsblackpower
  25. abstractnerd reblogged this from ucsdhealthsciences
  26. clinical-lab-scientist reblogged this from scinerds
  27. twofifthsofasecondinhismovie reblogged this from alscientist
  28. 7odoud reblogged this from alscientist

About

News from UC San Diego Health Sciences
Media Contacts: 619-543-6163
HealthSciComm@ucsd.edu

Blogroll

  • kenobi-wan-obi
  • seltzerlizard
  • natgeofound
  • codeit
  • scientificillustration
  • azspot
  • medindia
  • tballardbrown
  • huffingtonpost
  • nursingmonkeymomma
  • awomaninscience
  • comedycentral
  • scienceyoucanlove
  • queerability
  • alscientist
  • fyeahmedlab
  • scientificthought
  • kqedscience
  • ohscience
  • neurosciencestuff
  • cancerninja
  • wnyc
  • bbglasses
  • latimes
  • healthcareinfoguide
  • oupacademic
  • mothernaturenetwork
  • fastcompany
  • madsweat
  • futureofscience
  • aspiringdoctors
  • mindblowingscience
  • katiecouric
  • newyorker
  • molecularlifesciences
  • denverpost
  • boston
  • inothernews
  • medresearch
  • publicradiointernational
  • instagram
  • sdzoo
  • dystrophin
  • currentsinbiology
  • abcworldnews
  • buzzfeed
  • forum-network
  • theweekmagazine
  • therumpus
  • exploratorium
  • longform
  • rollingstone
  • newsweek
  • nprfreshair
  • pbstv
  • laboratoryequipment
  • npr
  • htdeverything
  • thevancouversun
  • nbcnightlynews
  • ari-abroad
  • statedept
  • theonion
  • mathcat345
  • think-progress
  • nbcnews
  • theatlantic
  • wayfaringmd
  • jtotheizzoe
  • nursefocker
  • dodgemedlin
  • yahoonews
  • nprinterns
  • theskygazer
  • ucsdspecialcollections
  • pozmagazine
  • robotmuesli
  • prochoiceamerica
  • breakingnews
  • sdzsafaripark
  • explore-blog
  • officialssay
  • laweekly
  • journalofajournalist
  • onaissues
  • infographicjournal
  • pacificstand
  • prnewswire
  • usagov
  • ucsdmedialab
  • thisissandiego
  • usnews
  • wired
  • tmagazine
  • doctorswithoutborders
  • mashablehq
  • nydailynews
  • pulitzercenter
  • amnhnyc
  • thenewrepublic
  • nprglobalhealth
  • columbusdispatch
  • kateoplis
  • lakeconews
  • newswatchtv
  • surfnrunnr
  • peacecorps
  • nypl
  • pubhealth
  • plannedparenthood
  • sesamestreet
  • cenwatchglass
  • guardian
  • austinstatesman
  • sciencenetlinks
  • md-admissions
  • yaleuniversity
  • medicalstate
  • soupsoup
  • colchrishadfield
  • actgnetwork
  • shortformblog
  • today
  • smithsonianmag
  • todaysdocument
  • post-mitotic
  • themedicalchronicles
  • breakingblog
  • sciencesoup
  • scinerds
  • psydoctor8
  • thescienceofreality
  • huffpostscience
  • cnbc
  • psychotherapy
  • whitehouse
  • highcountrynews
  • scienceisbeauty
  • reuters
  • thisisfusion
  • newshour
  • photojojo
  • ucsdcancer
  • artandsciencejournal
  • msnbc
  • 3rdofmay
  • nprradiopictures
  • galindoyadira
  • markcoatney
  • skunkbear
  • thedailyshow
  • libertasacademica
  • cranquis
  • missmdisme
  • mediclopedia
  • robertreich
  • usatoday
  • bbsrc
  • staff
  • ucresearch
  • pritheworld
  • unicef
  • washingtonexaminer
  • michiganengineering
  • neurolove
  • bostongyrig
  • csmonitor
  • motherjones
  • ottawahealth
  • minnpost
  • doublejack
  • ucsdcrossculturalcenter
  • shortyawards
  • wnycradiolab
  • science-and-logic
  • medicalschool
  • pbsthisdayinhistory
  • hospitalreina
  • sciencechicks
  • americanpublicmedia
  • brookhavenlab
  • discoverynews
  • ziyadnazem
  • scipak
  • nocturnalnurse
  • nysci
  • tedx
  • nurse-on-duty
  • sciencenote
  • jayparkinsonmd
  • ladyjournos
  • poptech
  • ucsdcareerservicescenter
  • mediamed
  • brainmtters
  • aarp
  • neuroanatomyblog
  • nprontheroad
  • articulomortis
  • science
  • poynterinstitute
  • timelightbox
  • artpoweratucsd
  • timemagazine
  • matthewkeys
  • paraphyletic
  • upworthyinsider
  • ucsd
  • topherchris
  • oh4theloveofscience
  • fuckyeahneuroscience
  • pneupnurse
  • utnereader
  • biocanvas
  • joshherigon
  • fuckyeahcardiovascularsystem
  • bitesizedbiology
  • bobedwardsradio
  • medethicslady
  • phdr
  • picturedept
  • fuckyeahnervoussystem
  • sci-fact
  • nationalpost
  • goodideapublichealth
  • carlzimmer
  • vetstail
  • chronicleofhighered
  • wgbhnews
  • ruled-by-secrecy
  • anaofta
  • tumblmd
  • life
  • dailymedical
  • oceanportal
  • ahfspeakout
  • captain-nitrogen
  • lookslikescience
  • genannetics
  • clearscience
  • thecoloradopursuit
  • artneuroscience
  • auditoryinsomniac
  • blamoscience
  • scishow
  • bio-sustain
  • information101
  • sciencephotolibrary
  • rubylipstick1
  • itsjustcharli
  • stemcellculture
  • houseofmind
  • scotthensley
  • a-science-blog
  • cheatsheet
  • bklynmed
  • bartholomewfromthesun
  • salon
  • wellcomebrains
  • aljazeera
  • globeandmail
  • kpcc
  • princeton-medbloro
  • blue-lights-and-tea
  • geneticist
  • couturecourier
  • reportingonhealth
  • ucsfbioengineering
  • coolhealthinfographics
  • thedailywhat
  • villagevoice
  • nbclatino
  • y2ycenter
  • ajebsary
  • realcleverscience
  • ohyeahdevelopmentalbiology
  • guardiancomment
  • timesopinion
  • scientificbritain
  • lifescienceexperiment
  • adschu
  • drwhitehall
  • poptechlabs
  • tokenladyscientist
  • washingtonpostinnovations
  • mountainlake
  • everythingmedical101
  • sdcms
  • mpbntech
  • kusp
  • natgeo