What is the global incidence of dengue?

Updated: May 03, 2019
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The overall incidence of dengue, as well as the explosive outbreaks of dengue, has been increasing dramatically over the last several years. Older data suggested an estimated 50-100 million cases of dengue fever and 500,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever occur worldwide, with 22,000 deaths (mainly in children). [46, 47, 48] In 2015, official data from WHO member states reported more than 3.2 million cases, with 2.35 million cases in the Americas alone, including 10,200 cases of severe dengue and 1181 deaths. One study estimates that approximately 390 million dengue infections occur per year (95% CI; 284-528 million), with 96 million of these presenting clinically. [49] An estimated 2.5-3 billion people (approximately 40%-50% of the world’s population) are estimated to be at risk for dengue infection. Recent estimates find that 128 countries worldwide are at risk for dengue infection, which includes 36 that had once been classified as dengue-free. [50] The only continent that has not experienced dengue transmission is Antarctica.

Worldwide distribution of dengue in 2000. Courtesy Worldwide distribution of dengue in 2000. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Worldwide distribution of dengue in 2003. Courtesy Worldwide distribution of dengue in 2003. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Worldwide distribution of dengue in 2005. Courtesy Worldwide distribution of dengue in 2005. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the World Health Organization, dengue ranks as the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in the world. In the last 50 years, the incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold worldwide. [48] In the Americas alone, the incidence rose from 250,000 cases of dengue fever and 7,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever in 1995 to more than 890,000 cases of dengue fever and 26,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever in 2007.


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