Dengue on the Rise

Dengue infection is no longer a just a national issue. Over the years, dengue infection had been on the rise. It has been known to infect at least 400 million people on an annual basis. While a lot has been known of its characteristics, there is no known cure as of today. Even the dengue vaccines are currently undergoing clinical trials, yet to be proven of its efficacy and safety. What we do know is that our urban co-existence with the Asian tiger mosquitoes, the Aedes aegypti especially, has brought forth a larger scale of dengue invasion from its perpetual spread via its vector.

Serotypiccally, there are 4 dengue serotypes, namely DenV 1-4. Of course, there are 5th serotype DenV-5 that is actually a sylvatic infection, which is not endemic in humans and could hardly sustain an epidemic. Each serotypes has various genotypes, but simply put, the DenV 2 is the one believed to cause a more severe clinical outcome in a secondary infection. Hence, whenever there is a rise in case-fatality rate, it is associated with a rise in the DenV 2 serotypes in Malaysia's serotyping surveillance. A look at last year's statistics in Malaysia revealed a staggering climb in the presence of DenV 2 serotype, with more dengue deaths occurring towards the end of the year.

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Source: Control of Vector-Borne Diseases Unit, Ministry of Health, Malaysia

However, Malaysia is a larger country with various areas consisting of urban development and rural areas. The distribution of dengue serotypes differs from each states. Ultimately, certain states may have similar composition of serotypes due to the ease of mobility among citizens travelling between the states.

*Click on image to enlarge*
Source: Control of Vector-Borne Diseases Unit, Ministry of Health, Malaysia

Identifying the serotyping is more for surveillance and research purposes, while the ultimate outcome still lies in prevention and control. The environmental factor is one of a major issue whereby citizens themselves contribute to the litter, creating more Aedes breeding sites with standing water. Ignorance plays another part for those who fail to notice and clean out the standing water at home.

For those managing dengue patients, remember that fluid management is of utter importance, stripped down to its core. Too little fluid can cause Dengue Shock Syndrome whilst too much fluid could tilt the patients to being overload as dengue patients can be rather fragile in this sense.

What about the vaccination? Various vaccines are under development, but don't put too much high hopes on it yet. The earliest vaccine could come out as early as in 2015, but it may take a number of years before it could reach production, so work hard to fight this war. Avoid increasing the dengue death statistics by doing your part now. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the statistics.

*Click on image to enlarge*
*Click on image to enlarge*

For those interested to know of the current dengue situation in Malaysia, here's the FB link to the respective states:

  1. Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya: Bebas Denggi - UKPBV JKWPKL&P
  2. Selangor: Situasi Denggi Selangor - UKPBV JKNS
  3. Perak: Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Perak
  4. Johor: Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Johor
  5. Pahang: Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Pahang
  6. Melaka:Vektor Melaka
  7. Terengganu: Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Terengganu
  8. Kedah :Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Kedah
  9. Perlis: Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Perlis

1 referrals:

thank you for sharing the links and info, very useful!