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Why is it that we have fewer cases of dengue?


Dear Doc,

How is it that they claim that the same aedes aegypti mosquito transmits dengue fever virus, but yet still we have so few cases of dengue fever?{{more}}


Dear Arisha,

This is a very good observation.

Dengue fever virus is indeed transmitted by the same aedes aegypti mosquito that also transmits the chikungunya fever virus. The key is that dengue fever has three different recognizable strains that cause the disease and at any one time only one strain might be prevalent and most persons possibly have already been infected with that strain, thus they are immune. It is also true to note that dengue fever has been around for many years, making the possibility of general population immunity high. Four years ago we had significant numbers of dengue fever cases; thus, if that same strain is present, it would have little effect on the population.

I would assume that next year would have significantly fewer cases of chikungunya fever, unless we have a development of a new strain of the virus to which we would not have immunity.


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