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Hospital-Based Prevalence of Malaria and Dengue in Febrile Patients in Bangladesh

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  • International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

We conducted a nationwide study at six tertiary hospitals from December 2008 through November 2009 to investigate etiologies of febrile illnesses in Bangladesh. Febrile patients meeting a clinical case definition were enrolled from inpatient and outpatient medicine and pediatric units. We assessed 720 febrile patients over 12 months; 69 (9.6%) were positive for IgM antibodies against dengue virus by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and four malaria patients (0.56%) were confirmed with immuno-chromatography and microscopic slide tests. We identified dengue cases throughout the year from rural (49%) and urban areas (51%). We followed-up 55 accessible dengue-infected patients two months after their initial enrollment: 45 (82%) patients had fully recovered, 9 (16%) reported ongoing jaundice, fever and/or joint pain, and one died. Dengue infection is widespread across Bangladesh, but malaria is sufficiently uncommon that it should not be assumed as the cause of fever without laboratory confirmation.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Labib I. Faruque, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh. E-mail: labibimran@yahoo.com

Financial support: This study was supported by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant no. 5U51CI000298-05). ICDDR,B acknowledges with gratitude the commitment of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the research efforts of ICDDR,B.

Authors' addresses: Labib I. Faruque, Emily S. Gurley, and Rashidul Haque, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mails: labibimran@icddrb.org, egurley@icddrb.org, and rhaque@icddrb.org. Rashid Uz Zaman, Oxford Policy Management, Oxford OX1 1 BN, United Kingdom, E-mail: rashid.zaman@opml.co.uk. A. S. M. Alamgir and Mahmudur Rahman, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mails: aalamgir@gmail.com and mrahman@citechco.net. Stephen P. Luby, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: sluby@icddrb.org.

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