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June, 2007

Hispanic Health Program



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Dengue infections are vastly under reported.

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It is estimated that there are 50 to 100 million dengue infections globally, each year. According to the WHO, more than 500,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are reported annually.

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The number of dengue cases reported in the Americas has increased from 66,011 in 1980, to 1,024,701 in 2002.

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While 100 to 200 suspected dengue cases on average are reported among travelers returning the US each year, the actual number of infected travelers is estimated to be 1000-2000.

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Without proper treatment, DHF case fatality rates can exceed 20%. With modern intensive supportive therapy, case fatality rates can be reduced to less than 1%.


CDC is a global leader in epidemiologic, virologic, entomologic and community-based prevention research on dengue/DHF. CDC maintains active surveillance of all dengue cases in Puerto Rico where the disease is endemic, and passive surveillance for suspected cases imported into the US. CDC participates in epidemic response and investigation, including dengue outbreaks on the Texas-Mexico border in 1995 and 1999, El Salvador in 2000, and the dengue outbreak in Hawaii in 2001.

Example of program in action:
  CDC provides travelers health and general information about
dengue/DHF in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, in print, on the Internet, and through medical education slide sets, videocassettes (and also CD ROM) for physicians. CDC responds to hundreds of travel inquiries annually. Since 1985, a variety of community based projects have been established to further dengue prevention in Puerto Rico. These projects involve the local communities and are linguistically and culturally compatible programs.


CDC will continue to provide epidemic response and technical assistance both domestically and worldwide. Development of a dengue vaccine remains an important goal. Multidisciplinary research is underway to evaluate community-based dengue prevention initiatives in Puerto Rico, with the aim of refining strategies for further use in Puerto Rico, along the U.S. - Mexico border, in dengue endemic countries of Latin America, and elsewhere.

Produced by CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID)

For more information, contact the National Center for Infectious Diseases, Mailstop C14, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30333: (404) 371-5236:

Back to the Hispanic/Latino Populations Page



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