March 1, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

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GLOBAL RISE IN DENGUE CASES

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TAG: GS 3: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

THE CONTEXT: An analysis conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals a substantial surge in dengue cases globally over the past two decades, escalating from 500,000 in 2000 to a staggering 5.2 million by 2019.

EXPLANATION:

  • However, the actual figures are believed to be significantly higher due to the asymptomatic nature of the infection and its non-notifiable status in numerous countries.

Global Dengue Scenario

  • The WHO notes a marked resurgence in dengue cases post the pandemic years of 2020-2022.
  • In 2019, the disease was reported in 129 countries, and in 2023, over five million cases and more than 5,000 deaths were reported across 80 countries, signalling a significant global health concern.

Regional Impact of Dengue Outbreaks

  • America:
    • The America faced severe dengue outbreaks in 2023, with Brazil, Peru, and Mexico being significantly affected.
    • The region reported a total of 4.1 million suspected cases, including severe instances and fatalities.
  • Southeast Asia:
    • Majority of the Southeast Asian countries reported an upsurge in dengue cases in 2023, with Bangladesh and Thailand registering notably higher numbers.
  • Africa:
    • The African region, though grappling with several arboviral diseases, reported 171,991 dengue cases in 2023.
    • Burkina Faso suffered the most with a high number of suspected cases and deaths.
  • Eastern Mediterranean:
    • Dengue cases first emerged in this region in 1998, and since then, the virus has spread to nine countries.
    • Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Oman witnessed the highest number of confirmed cases in 2023.
  • Europe:
    • While the European Region used to witness mainly travel-related dengue cases, since 2010, the disease has established a presence within the region.
    • Italy, France, and Spain reported cases and outbreaks in 2023.
  • Western Pacific:
    • With over 500,000 dengue cases and 750 deaths, the Western Pacific Region reported significant impacts.
    • The Philippines, Vietnam, and Fiji were among the most affected countries.

Factors Influencing Dengue Upsurge

  • Several factors have contributed to the surge in dengue cases in 2023.
  • The changing distribution of vectors such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, alterations in temperature and rainfall patterns due to the El Nino climate phenomenon, fragile health systems post-pandemic, political and financial instabilities in countries, and increased population movements have collectively exacerbated the spread of the disease.

Response and Urgent Measures

  • The WHO has emphasized the urgency in advocating and mobilizing resources to address this global health crisis.
  • A Global Joint Incident Management Support Team, involving expertise from the Health Emergencies Programme and the neglected tropical disease department, has been established to aid in managing and responding to outbreaks.

Dengue Characteristics and Management

  • Dengue transmission follows cyclical patterns, marked by large outbreaks occurring every 3-4 years.
  • The virus consists of four serotypes, and while there isn’t a specific treatment for dengue, early diagnosis and appropriate clinical management are crucial in preventing severe cases and mortality.
  • In conclusion, the surge in dengue cases globally in 2023 calls for immediate and concerted efforts to mitigate the impact, control the spread, and enhance healthcare systems to address this escalating public health issue.

SOURCE: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/el-nino-effect-cases-of-dengue-have-increased-globally-93546

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