Introduction

Dengue fever (DF), dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) are caused by one or more of four dengue viruses (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, DEN-4) that transmit to humans through the bites of infective Aedes mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (L.) and Ae. albopictus Skuse (Service 1993). The disease is now one of the major public health problems worldwide, especially in the tropical and subtropical regions. It is estimated that almost half of the global population are at risk of dengue infection. The disease is currently endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and Western Pacific (WHO 2002). However, the Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific have been more seriously affected. The prevalence of DF/DHF has substantially grown during the past five decades. The annual average number of cases of DF or severe dengue (DHF/DSS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) have increased exponentially from 908 cases in 1950s to 925,896 cases in 2000s (Nathan and Dayal-Drager 2007). The recent global epidemic occurred in 1998, when a total of 1.2 million cases of DF/DHF, including 3,442 deaths were reported to WHO (WHO 2002).

Department of Medical Sciences, National Institute of Health, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand e-mail: [email protected]

P.W. Atkinson (ed.), Vector Biology, Ecology and Control, 113

DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-2458-9_8, © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

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