In our continuing coverage of the 2018 dengue epidemic on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion off the African coast, French health officials reported an additional 388 biologically confirmed and probable cases in the past week, bringing the total cases to 2980 confirmed or probable cases reported since the Jan. 1.
Of this total, 65 people required hospitalization and nine were diagnosed with severe dengue.
Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.
People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person.
There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, research from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.