Health officials on the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia have declared an epidemic of dengue fever after reporting some 100 cases since November. A dengue epidemic was originally declared on 22 February 2018 as cases skyrocketed through the spring and summer months, tapering off during the fall.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

According to health officials (computer translated), 1,997 dengue cases have been reported since the beginning of the year with dengue type 2 accounting for 85 percent of cases. Nearly 200 people required hospitalization and two deaths were reported.

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. For more infectious disease news and information, visit 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).

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.