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ABSTRACT

Dengue is a serious global burden. Unreported and unrecognized apparent dengue virus infections make it difficult to estimate the true extent of dengue, and current estimates of the incidence and costs of dengue have substantial uncertainty. Objective, systematic, comparable measures of dengue burden are needed to track health progress, assess the application and financing of emerging preventive and control strategies, and inform health policy. We estimated the global economic burden of dengue by country and super-region (groups of epidemiologically similar countries).

METHODS

We used the latest dengue incidence estimates from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 and several other data sources to assess the economic burden of symptomatic dengue cases in the 141 countries and territories with active dengue transmission. From the scientific literature and regressions, we estimated cases and costs by setting, including the non-medical setting, for all countries and territories.

FINDINGS

Our global estimates suggest that in 2013 there were a total of 58.40 million symptomatic dengue virus infections (95% uncertainty interval [95% UI] 24 million–122 million), including 13,586 fatal cases (95% UI 4,200–34,700), and that the total annual global cost of dengue illness was US$8.9 billion (95% UI 3.7 billion–19.7 billion). The global distribution of dengue cases is 18% admitted to hospital, 48% ambulatory, and 34% non-medical.

INTERPRETATION

The global cost of dengue is substantial and, if control strategies could reduce dengue appreciably, billions of dollars could be saved globally. In estimating dengue costs by country and setting, this study contributes to the needs of policymakers, donors, developers, and researchers for economic assessments of dengue interventions, particularly with the licensure of the first dengue vaccine and promising developments in other technologies.

Citation: 

Shepard DS, Undurraga EA, Halasa YA, Stanaway JD. The global economic burden of dengue: a systematic analysis. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2016 Apr 15. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(16)00146-8.