The Epidemiology of Dengue in the Americas Over the Last Three Decades: A Worrisome Reality

José Luis San Martín Dengue Regional Program, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Panama, Republic of Panama; Clinical Department, Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania; General Directorate of Health Surveillance, Secretariat of Health, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Virology Department, PAHO/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Study of Dengue and its Vector, Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kouri, Havana, Cuba

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Olivia Brathwaite Dengue Regional Program, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Panama, Republic of Panama; Clinical Department, Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania; General Directorate of Health Surveillance, Secretariat of Health, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Virology Department, PAHO/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Study of Dengue and its Vector, Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kouri, Havana, Cuba

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Betzana Zambrano Dengue Regional Program, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Panama, Republic of Panama; Clinical Department, Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania; General Directorate of Health Surveillance, Secretariat of Health, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Virology Department, PAHO/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Study of Dengue and its Vector, Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kouri, Havana, Cuba

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José Orlando Solórzano Dengue Regional Program, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Panama, Republic of Panama; Clinical Department, Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania; General Directorate of Health Surveillance, Secretariat of Health, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Virology Department, PAHO/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Study of Dengue and its Vector, Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kouri, Havana, Cuba

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Alain Bouckenooghe Dengue Regional Program, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Panama, Republic of Panama; Clinical Department, Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania; General Directorate of Health Surveillance, Secretariat of Health, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Virology Department, PAHO/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Study of Dengue and its Vector, Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kouri, Havana, Cuba

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Gustavo H. Dayan Dengue Regional Program, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Panama, Republic of Panama; Clinical Department, Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania; General Directorate of Health Surveillance, Secretariat of Health, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Virology Department, PAHO/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Study of Dengue and its Vector, Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kouri, Havana, Cuba

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María G. Guzmán Dengue Regional Program, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Panama, Republic of Panama; Clinical Department, Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania; General Directorate of Health Surveillance, Secretariat of Health, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Virology Department, PAHO/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Study of Dengue and its Vector, Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kouri, Havana, Cuba

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We have reported the epidemic patterns of dengue disease in the Region of the Americas from 1980 through 2007. Dengue cases reported to the Pan American Health Organization were analyzed from three periods: 1980–1989 (80s), 1990–1999 (90s), and 2000–2007 (2000–7). Age distribution data were examined from Brazil, Venezuela, Honduras, and Mexico. Cases increased over time: 1,033,417 (80s) to 2,725,405 (90s) to 4,759,007 (2000–7). The highest concentrations were reported in the Hispanic Caribbean (39.1%) in the 80s shifting to the Southern Cone in the 90s (55%) and 2000–7 (62.9%). From 1980 through 1987, 242 deaths were reported compared with 1,391 during 2000–7. The most frequently isolated serotypes were DENV-1 and DENV-2 (90s) and DENV-2 and DENV-3 (2000–7). The highest incidence was observed among adolescents and young adults; dengue hemorrhagic fever incidence was highest among infants in Venezuela. Increasing dengue morbidity/mortality was observed in the Americas in recent decades.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to José Luis San Martín, Ancón, Ave. Gorgas, Edificio 261 Panamá Apartado 0843-03441 Panamá. E-mail: sanmarjl@pan.ops-oms.org

Financial support: The manuscript was a collaboration between the authors. No funding was involved in the development of the manuscript.

Disclosure: Some of the authors are employed by Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. This statement is made in the interest of full disclosure and not because the authors consider this to be a conflict of interest. Information of this manuscript was previously presented at the IDSA/ICAAC 2008.

Authors' addresses: José Luis San Martín, Dengue Regional Program, Pan American Health Organization, Panamá, Republic of Panama, E-mail: sanmarjl@pan.ops-oms.org. Olivia Brathwaite, Dengue Regional Program, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Panama, Republic of Panama, E-mail: brathwao@pan.ops-oms.org. Betzana Zambrano, Clinical Department, Sanofi Pasteur, Montevideo, Uruguay, E-mail: betzana.zambrano@sanofipasteur.com. José Orlando Solórzano, General Directorate of Health Surveillance, Secretariat of Health, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, E-mail: josghn@yahoo.com. Alain Bouckenooghe, Clinical Department, Sanofi Pasteur, Singapore, E-mail: alain.bouckenooghe@sanofipasteur.com. Gustavo H. Dayan, Clinical Department, Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, PA, E-mail: gustavo.dayan@sanofipasteur.com. María G. Guzmán, Virology Department, PAHO/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Study of Dengue and its Vector, Institute of Tropical Medicine ‘Pedro Kouri’, Havana, Cuba, E-mail: lupe@ipk.isld.cu.

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