The dengue trends across the Caribbean this year have PAHO expressing concern for the region, but looking back at the Americas during 2018, there was mixed news on dengue.
The region reported 6,418 suspected dengue cases in 2018, down from the 7,460 in 2017. However, deaths were up at seven in 2018 compared with three in 2017. The worst hit were countries were Jamaica (986 dengue cases and six deaths in 2018 up from 215 cases in 2017), Cuba (2,128 dengue cases and one death in 2018 compared with 1,248 cases in 2017) and the Dominican Republic (1,558 dengue cases in 2018 compared with 1,363 case and three deaths in 2017).
The 2018 dengue trends case numbers in the Americas continued a downward trend from 2017. By the end of the year, dengue case numbers across the Americas had reached just below 540,000 compared with more than 580,000 in 2017, almost 2.2 million in 2016 and more than 2.4 million in 2015. Dengue in the USA followed the trends with 331 dengue cases in 2018, down from 453 in 2017 and 990 in 2016.
Brazil continued to account for almost half of those dengue cases, with numbers similar to 2017: almost 247,000 dengue cases with 141 deaths in 2018 compared with just over 252,000 cases with 133 deaths in 2017; 1.5 million cases with 642 deaths in 2016 and almost 1.65 million cases with 863 deaths in 2015. In 2015, Piracicaba began releasing Oxitec’s Friendly Mosquitoes (Aedes do Bem) to combat dengue. This followed pilot studies in Juazeiro and Jacobina between 2011 and 2015. Juiz de Fora began releases in November 2017.
Dengue up in some regions of the Americas
Argentina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Paraguay, and Venezuela all reported rises. With all four dengue virus serotypes circulating, the risk of severe dengue was also increased from 0.36% in 2017 to 0.65% in 2018 as has the risk of death at 0.058% in 2018, up from 0.054% in 2017 and 0.042% in 2016.
Argentina reported a trebling of dengue cases, with 1,829 in 2018 compared with 557 in 2017. The number included 1,164 confirmed cases. There were no cases of severe dengue and no deaths either year.
Dengue cases jumped significantly in Paraguay with more than 32,359 dengue cases, including 3,414 confirmed cases, reported in 2018, up from 1,832 cases and 616 confirmed cases in 2017. Case numbers included 15 dengue-related deaths in 2018, up from no deaths in 2017. Numbers were still much lower than the 70,215 dengue cases reported in 2016 but on par with the 16 deaths that year.
Colombia also experienced a sharp rise in dengue cases in 2018. The country’s health system received notification of 44,825 cases, including 526 of severe dengue and 23 deaths. This compares with 26,279 cases and 15 deaths in 2017.
Dengue numbers also rose in El Salvador, though actual numbers are difficult to decipher. According to the country’s Ministry of Health, 458 probable cases were reported during 2018, an increase of 197% on the 154 cases reported in 2017, with eight fatalities. These numbers are significantly lower than the 8,488 dengue cases in El Salvador reported by PAHO.
In Honduras, dengue case numbers reached alarm levels between late March and mid-May of 2018. A total of 7,942 suspected cases of dengue were reported throughout 2018, including 1,172 cases of severe dengue and three deaths. In 2017 there were 5,217 and no deaths.
The number of dengue cases more than doubled in Venezuela with a total of 19,118 dengue cases notified, of which 2,440 were confirmed. This compares with 8,615 reported in 2017. Nationally, there were 24 dengue deaths in 2018, up from 16 in 2017.
Stay tuned for our final part of our three-part series looking back at dengue in 2018, we will look at how Africa and Europe fared.
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