In a follow-up to a recent report on the Burkina Faso dengue fever outbreak that was declared in late September, the country has seen a significant increase in cases in a matter of weeks.

In a period of about two weeks, the dengue case tally has gone from  2,298 (suspected, probable and confirmed) cases and nine deaths on Oct. 8 to 6,699 (suspected, probable or confirmed) cases and 13 deaths  on Oct. 27 and officials say this is likely underestimated.

Aedes albopictus/FotoshopTofs
Aedes albopictus/FotoshopTofs

The World Health Organization (WHO) says unlike the previous occurrence in 2016 when DEN-2 was the strain, several serotypes of dengue have been detected. To date, three dengue serotypes have been characterized in the outbreak (DEN-1, 2, and 3).

This could lead to the occurrence of more severe cases, which may not be captured by the surveillance system due to under-reporting from private clinics and healthcare centers in peripheral districts.

Cases are currently reported in 12 of the country’s 13 health regions, with 64% of cases reported in the central region, particularly in the city of Ouagadougou.

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.

LISTEN: DDT: A history, Silent Spring, the ban and the rise of the mosquitoes–An interview with Dr Jane Orient

People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person. For more infectious disease news and informationvisit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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).

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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, new research from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.