Epidemiology and characteristics of the dengue outbreak in Guangdong, Southern China, in 2014
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Dengue is a rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease caused by the dengue virus (DENV) and has emerged as a severe public health problem around the world. Guangdong, one of the southern Chinese provinces, experienced a serious outbreak of dengue in 2014, which was believed to be the worst dengue epidemic in China over the last 20 years. To better understand the epidemic, we collected the epidemiological data of the outbreak and analyzed 14,594 clinically suspected dengue patients from 25 hospitals in Guangdong. Dengue cases were then laboratory-confirmed by the detection of DENV non-structural protein 1 (NS1) antigen and/or DENV RNA. Afterwards, clinical manifestations of dengue patients were analyzed and 93 laboratory-positive serum specimens were chosen for the DENV serotyping and molecular analysis. Our data showed that the 2014 dengue outbreak in Guangdong had spread to 20 cities and more than 45 thousand people suffered from dengue fever. Of 14,594 participants, 11,387 were definitively diagnosed. Most manifested with a typical non-severe clinical course, and 1.96 % developed to severe dengue. The strains isolated successfully from the serum samples were identified as DENV-1. Genetic analyses revealed that the strains were classified into genotypes I and V of DENV-1, and the dengue epidemic of Guangdong in 2014 was caused by indigenous cases and imported cases from the neighboring Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia and Singapore. Overall, our study is informative and significant to the 2014 dengue outbreak in Guangdong and will provide crucial implications for dengue prevention and control in China and elsewhere.
KeywordsDengue Virus Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Dengue Infection Southeast Asian Country DENV Infection
We thank all the participants who consented to take part in this study, as well as the doctors and nurses for recruitment. Especially, we sincerely thank the laboratory technicians from the 25 hospitals who helped us collect and interpret the data.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
This work was supported by the Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (grant number S2013010014007, 2014A030313070) and Guangdong Province Science & Technology Project Plan & Social Development Foundation (grant number 2010A030400006).
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