United States: Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory have been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to the increasing risk of dengue virus (DENV) infections across the United States in 2024. The advisory has been issued for general public of the United States and the healthcare providers.

It is to be noted that in 2024, the highest number of cases linked to dengue were reported. Many countries, along with the United States, have reported higher-than-usual dengue cases. The official data by the health authorities of the US have also mentioned that certain countries in the Americas have reported record-breaking numbers, and it is expected that the total number of cases in 2024 will exceed the total number of cases reported in a single year, as reported by the CDC.

From January 1 to June 24, 2024, the countries of the United States have reported as many as 9.7 million dengue cases; however in 2023 the nation reported nearly half, i.e. 4.6 million cases linked to the disease. Certain reports have claimed that Puerto Rico has declared a public health emergency with approximately 1,498 cases.

Four (4) viruses are responsible for Dengue infection, which are DENV-1, -2, -3 and -4. The virus is transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes Mosquitoes.

Across the United States, the areas which report consistent dengue transmission are American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. When focused on the United States, the states, including Florida, Hawaii and Texas, report minor outbreaks. Additionally, high number of cases are also seen in Arizona and California.

COVID-19 and Dengue!

The experts have outlined that the number of cases associated with dengue has increased following the onset of the pandemic linked to COVID-19. In 2023, Americas reported over 4.6 million cases and 4,000 deaths, and by mid-2024, the count had doubled and reached up to 9.7 million.

Dengue transmission peaks during the warmer, wetter months in tropical and subtropical regions, and the incidence is expected to rise with global temperature increases. Higher temperatures can extend the habitats of dengue-carrying mosquitoes and accelerate viral replication, improve vector survival, and alter reproduction and feeding behaviors, as per the CDC.

Visual Representation | Credits: Pixabay

The overlap of US summer travel with peak dengue season in many regions exacerbates travel-associated cases and limited local transmission in the continental US. An unexpected surge of dengue cases (2,241 total, including 1,498 in Puerto Rico) was reported from January 1 to June 24, 2024.

In March 2024, Puerto Rico declared a public health emergency due to the high case count during the typically low season. Healthcare professionals must be vigilant in recognizing, diagnosing, managing, and reporting dengue cases to public health authorities, while public health entities should investigate cases and provide clear prevention messages to the populace.

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