Dengue fever affects the health of millions of individual’s worldwide living in tropical and subtropical areas. This virus has swiftly spread across the world and has caused an endemic in all WHO regions, except the European region and Indonesia (Bouri et al., 2012) . The occurrence of dengue fever around the world has increased dramatically with over 2.3 million reported cases in 2010 from South-east Asia, North and South America and the Western Pacific. In 2013, 2.35 million cases of dengue were reported from the Americas alone (“WHO | Dengue and severe dengue,” n.d.).
Dengue cases are not prevalent in the United States and cases that are reported within the country are either acquired outside of the country or are from immigrants and travelers. In the United States, dengue fever is listed as a reportable disease and all diagnosed cases are required to be reported to the Center for Disease Control ...view middle of the document...
In 2010, there were 26,766 suspected dengue cases reported to health officials, 47% of laboratory test were concluded as positive (“CDC - Epidemiology - Dengue,” n.d.). Since Puerto Rico has high levels of dengue occurrences, San Juan, Puerto Rico houses the Dengue Branch of the CDC.
The purpose of this study is to determine if the rates of dengue fever in Florida and Puerto Rico are higher before or after a hurricane. The morality rates due to dengue fever in both locations will be analyzed and data that is obtainable from the CDC will be used to determine if hurricanes cause an increase rate of dengue among the citizens.
Background information on Dengue Fever
Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus, whose main vectors for transmission are the Aedes aegypti (A. aegypti) mosquito and the Aedes Albopictus (A. albopictus) mosquito which serves as the second vector. Dengue is primarily carried by an infected female mosquito and transmitted to humans. A. aegypti mosquitoes live and breed in areas where water holding containers exist (Murray, Quam, & Wilder-Smith, 2013). Infected humans are the main carriers of dengue and can transport the virus to uninfected mosquitoes. In the 1950s, a severe cause of Dengue was discovered in Thailand and the Philippines; these severe cases became known as Dengue Fever (“WHO | Dengue and severe dengue,” n.d.).
The Dengue virus has four distinct serotypes, DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4. All four serotypes originate from the family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivvirus, and have been found to be responsible for severe dengue epidemics (Guzman et al., 2010). Infection of any four of viruses have shown to result in a person having lifelong immunity to that specific serotype (Murray et al., 2013). When Dengue fever is contracted a person will experience flu like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting and swollen glands. The incubation period in humans is 4-10 days after the infected mosquito bite with symptoms lasting 2-7 days. There is no immunization in place for Dengue fever and it there is no specific treatment. Infected persons are encouraged to seek medical care by a physician or nurse and maintain hydration.