WHO: Dengue showing global 'epidemic potential'

The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that it had charted progress in the fight against tropical diseases but warned that dengue fever was spreading at an alarming rate.

"In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years," the Geneva-based UN agency said in a report released Wednesday.

The increased transmission rate of the deadly mosquito-borne disease was due to climate change and a greater movement of people, the agency said.

An annual two million cases of dengue fever were reported over the last two years by 100 countries, with between 5,000 to 6,000 of them resulting in death.

But the WHO's Raman Velayudhan said the disease was likely underreported and estimated there were as many as 50 million cases a year with more than 20,000 deaths.

Dengue is spread by one of four viruses transmitted by the . It causes high fever, headaches, itching and joint pains. At an advanced stage it can lead to haemorrhaging and death.

But the agency also reported "unprecedented progress against 17 ", saying for example that rabies had been eliminated in several countries.

It added that —a water-borne infection that causes agonising pain and leaves sufferers unable to function for months—was on its way to total eradication.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rio declares dengue epidemic

Apr 25, 2012

Rio de Janeiro has declared a dengue epidemic after diagnosing more than 50,000 cases of the tropical mosquito-borne infection this year and over 500 in the last week alone.

Dengue fever makes deadly comeback in Greece

Sep 04, 2012

An elderly Greek man has died from complications of dengue fever, marking a reappearance of the mosquito-borne disease 85 years after its eradication from Greece, officials said Tuesday.

Cuba issues warning about dengue mosquitos

Aug 16, 2012

Cuban health officials warned Thursday about an increased number of mosquitoes in the country's urban areas that can spread diseases such as dengue fever.

Recommended for you

NY and NJ say they will require Ebola quarantines

8 hours ago

The governors of New Jersey and New York on Friday ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine for all doctors and other arriving travelers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa.

WHO: Mali case may have infected many people

12 hours ago

The World Health Organization says a toddler who brought Ebola to Mali was bleeding from her nose during her journey on public transport and may have infected many people.

Two US nurses are declared cured of Ebola

13 hours ago

Two American nurses were declared cured of Ebola on Friday, and one was healthy enough to leave the hospital and meet President Barack Obama for a hug.

User comments