Dengue haemorrhagic fever in far north Queensland

McBride, William John Hannan (2005) Dengue haemorrhagic fever in far north Queensland. Arbovirus Research in Australia, 9. pp. 211-215.

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Dengue fever is caused by infection with one of the four serotypes of dengue virus (I to 4). Clinically, it is characterized by a febrile illness associated with generalized body aches, and occasional minor bleeding manifestations. A more severe form of the disease, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF), is being increasingly recognized worldwide. This latter disease has been associated, in an epidemiological sense, with second or subsequent dengue infections (Morens 1994). Dengue fever epidemics were well recognized in Australia in the late 19'h century and DHF was first described in 1898 in Charters Towers, north Queensland (Hare 1898). A large epidemic of dengue fever in Townsville and Charters Towers in 1992 and 1993 gave rise to fears of a reemergence ofDHF in Australia (McBride et al. 1998). These fears have been echoed with each subsequent epidemic (Hanna et al. 2001).

The Torres Strait Islands, between the tip of Cape York (Australia) and mainland Papua New Guinea, has had recorded epidemics of dengue fever in 1981 (dengue 1) and 1996 (dengue 2) (Hanna et al. 1998). In late 2003, two patients were admitted to the intensive care unit at the Cairns base hospital. These patients had severe hepatitis and led to the recognition of a dengue 2 epidemic affecting the region. Both patients fulfilled the clinical criteria for DHF. Two further cases of DHF, with fatal outcomes, were recorded during the epidemic.

The current paper will describe the clinical manifestations observed in the cases of DHF from the Torres Strait Islands. There will also be a discussion of the epidemiological context in which these cases occurred. Planning for future epidemics involving cases ofDHF will also be discussed.

Item ID: 5803
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0725-4989
Keywords: dengue; dengue haemorrhagic fever
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Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2010 05:49
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110309 Infectious Diseases @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 40%
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