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Global Dengue Fever Cases Surge, with Rising Numbers in Middle East

Global Dengue Fever Cases Surge, with Rising Numbers in Middle East

Dengue fever, a debilitating tropical disease spread by mosquitoes, is witnessing a dramatic rise in global cases, particularly in several Arab nations. Despite being rarely reported in the Emirates, the disease is making its presence felt across the region, posing a significant health concern.

Key Points:

  1. Rising International Cases: The global incidence of dengue fever is on the rise, with over 4.2 million infections reported worldwide in 2023, compared to just 500,000 at the turn of the century. The Mena region registered an 88% increase in cases from 1990 to 2019.
  2. Surge in Arab Nations: Several Arab countries, including the UAE, are witnessing a surge in reported cases. While the numbers of infected patients requiring care remain low, health authorities have noted an increase in reported cases in recent months.
  3. Unusual Spread: Dengue fever, usually spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is an unheard-of phenomenon in Dubai. However, a weather or climate change may favor the proliferation of these mosquitoes, leading to the spread of the disease.
  4. Regional Impact: The Eastern Mediterranean region, including countries like Egypt, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, has reported outbreaks of dengue fever. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Oman reported the highest number of confirmed cases in 2023.
  5. Challenges in Diagnosis and Treatment: Dengue fever presents a range of symptoms, including high fever, severe headaches, joint and muscle pain, and nausea. Diagnosis involves checking platelet counts and conducting antigen blood tests. There is no specific treatment for dengue, and supportive care is provided to manage symptoms.
  6. Preventive Measures: With the increased presence of mosquitoes, preventive measures such as using insect repellents, wearing long sleeves, and controlling mosquito breeding sites are essential to mitigate the transmission of the disease.

Implications and Future Outlook:

The surge in dengue fever cases underscores the need for heightened vigilance and proactive measures to control mosquito populations and prevent the spread of the disease. As climate change continues to impact disease dynamics, healthcare systems must adapt to emerging infectious diseases and enhance preparedness to address future challenges.

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