Public Health Responses to and Challenges for the Control of Dengue Transmission in High-Income Countries: Four Case Studies

Elvina Viennet, Scott A. Ritchie, Craig R. Williams, Helen M. Faddy, David Harley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Dengue has a negative impact in low- and lower middle-income countries, but also affects upper middle- and high-income countries. Despite the efforts at controlling this disease, it is unclear why dengue remains an issue in affluent countries. A better understanding of dengue epidemiology and its burden, and those of chikungunya virus and Zika virus which share vectors with dengue, is required to prevent the emergence of these diseases in high-income countries in the future. The purpose of this review was to assess the relative burden of dengue in four high-income countries and to appraise the similarities and differences in dengue transmission. We searched PubMed, ISI Web of Science, and Google Scholar using specific keywords for articles published up to 05 May 2016. We found that outbreaks rarely occur where only Aedes albopictus is present. The main similarities between countries uncovered by our review are the proximity to dengue-endemic countries, the presence of a competent mosquito vector, a largely nonimmune population, and a lack of citizens’ engagement in control of mosquito breeding. We identified important epidemiological and environmental issues including the increase of local transmission despite control efforts, population growth, difficulty locating larval sites, and increased human mobility from neighboring endemic countries. Budget cuts in health and lack of practical vaccines contribute to an increased risk. To be successful, dengue-control programs for high-income countries must consider the epidemiology of dengue in other countries and use this information to minimize virus importation, improve the control of the cryptic larval habitat, and engage the community in reducing vector breeding. Finally, the presence of a communicable disease center is critical for managing and reducing future disease risks.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0004943
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 19 Sep 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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