US CDC alerts healthcare providers of increase in dengue cases

A general view of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta

(Reuters) -The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory on Tuesday alerting healthcare providers about an increased risk of dengue virus infections in the United States.

Cases of the mosquito-borne viral illness have touched a record high in the Americas this year, the agency said, echoing a similar statement from the World Health Organization last month.

The number of dengue cases reported in the Americas exceeded 9.7 million during the period between January 1 and June 24, twice as many as in all of 2023, the CDC said, adding that a higher-than-expected number of cases have been identified among U.S. travelers.

The agency urged healthcare providers to adopt steps such as promotion of preventive measures, appropriate diagnostic tests and timely reporting of dengue cases to public health authorities, among others, to contain the spread of the infection.

Last month, the WHO "prequalified" Takeda Pharmaceuticals' dengue vaccine Qdenga, making it eligible for procurement by United Nations agencies such as UNICEF and Pan American Health Organization.

Qdenga is approved in the European Union and in Indonesia, Thailand, Argentina and Brazil, among others.

French drugmaker Sanofi's Dengvaxia is also approved in several countries in the Americas, the EU and Asia.

Dengue, transmitted through bites of infected Aedes species mosquito vectors, causes symptoms including fever, headaches, vomiting, skin rashes, as well as muscle and joint pain. In some cases, it can cause a more severe hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding that can lead to death.

(Reporting by Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)