Dengue: why is this sometimes fatal disease increasing around the world?
Something unusual seems to be happening with dengue, a potentially fatal mosquito-borne viral disease found across swathes of tropical Africa, Asia and the Americas. As with most infectious diseases, the number of cases tends to rise and fall over the years as epidemics come and go, but recently changes seem to be afoot in how dengue is behaving.
Not only is the number of new infections steadily rising around the world, but outbreaks are becoming larger and less predictable. For example, 2019 saw the greatest number of dengue fever cases ever recorded – almost twice as high as the previous year. And in July 2023, there were a record number of deaths from the disease in Bangladesh.
Most people infected with dengue will suffer from flu-like symptoms, ranging from relatively mild to very unpleasant, with fever, headache and joint pain. … [read more]