London: The global burden of dengue infection is more than triple the current estimates from the World Health Organization, a multinational study including an Indian origin scientist has revealed.The research has created the first detailed and up-to-date map of dengue distribution worldwide, enabling researchers to estimate the total numbers of people affected by the virus globally, regionally and nationally.The findings will help to guide efforts in vaccine, drug and vector control strategies.The study was led by Professor Simon Hay, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, as part of the International Research Consortium on Dengue Risk Assessment, Management and Surveillance.Dengue, also known as ` breakbone fever`, is a viral infection that is transmitted between humans by mosquitoes. In some people, it causes life-threatening illness.There are currently no licensed vaccines or specific treatments for dengue, and substantial efforts to control the mosquitoes that transmit the disease have not stopped its rapid emergence and global spread. Until now, little was known about the current distribution of the risk of dengue virus infection and its public health burden around the world."Our aim was to take all of the evidence that is currently available on the distribution of dengue worldwide and combine it with the latest in mapping and mathematical modelling to produce the most refined risk maps and burden estimates. We then hope to use this knowledge to help predict the future burden of the disease," said Dr Samir Bhatt, who led the modelling for the study.
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