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Number of Dengue Cases Underestimated

Public Health

The tropical disease dengue is more widespread than thought by the World Health Organization, according to a new report.

| April 12, 2013

NPR reports that according to a new article in the journal Nature, the tropical disease dengue is more widespread than previously thought. The study in Nature estimates that the number of infections each year could be triple or quadruple the amount tallied by the World Health Organization.

In an interview with Thomas Scott, a professor at the University of California Davis and one of the author's of the report in Nature, NPR's Jason Beaubien explores the spread of the disease.

"The World Health Organization puts the number of dengue infections globally at just a fraction of (400 million)," Beaubien said. "Prior to 1970, the mosquito-borne disease had only been reported in nine countries, according to the WHO. Now it's endemic in more than 100, and it continues to spread."

Scott explains that people living in substandard conditions are more susceptible to the disease due to lack of clean running water and proper waste disposal methods. 

Read or listen to the full piece here

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