Awareness of the problem is the first step towards control
The study by Tai and colleagues reported in this issue of the MJA highlights the risk of dengue in Australia posed by the endemic Aedes aegypti and A. albopictus vectors, together with increasing travel by Australians to dengue-endemic destinations.1 From 1991 to 2012, most cases of notified dengue in Australia were related to overseas travel, with respective increases in 2010 and 2011 of 298% and 155% above the 5-year mean notification rate; the risk of dengue in travellers returning from Indonesia between 2000 and 2011 was 8.3 times that for travellers returning from all other destinations.2 The global trade in used tyres (believed to facilitate the distribution of eggs and immature forms of mosquito vectors), rapid urbanisation in Asia and Latin America, more frequent international travel, and ineffective vector control have each contributed to the increasing global prevalence of dengue.3 It is pertinent to consider the threat of dengue in Australia with respect to travel and climatic factors.
- 1. Tai AYC, McGuinness SL, Robosa R, et al. Management of dengue in Australian travellers: a retrospective multicentre analysis. Med J Aust 2017; 206: 295-300.
- 2. Knope K, Giele C. Increasing notifications of dengue in Australia related to overseas travel, 1991 to 2012. Department of Health. Commun Dis Intell Q Rep 2013; 37: E55-E59.
- 3. Simmons CP, Farrar JJ, Nguyen vVC, Wills B. Dengue. N Engl J Med 2012; 366: 1423-1432.
- 4. Hu W, Clements A, Williams G, et al. Dengue fever and El Niño/Southern Oscillation in Queensland, Australia: a time series predictive model. Occup Environ Med 2010; 67: 307-311.
- 5. Warrilow D, Northill JA, Pyke AT. Sources of dengue viruses imported into Queensland, Australia, 2002–2010. Emerg Infect Dis 2012; 18: 1850-1857.
- 6. Hu W, Clements A, Williams G, et al. Spatial patterns and socioecological drivers of dengue fever transmission in Queensland, Australia. Environ Health Perspect 2012; 120: 260-266.
- 7. Huang X, Williams G, Clements AC, et al. Imported dengue cases, weather variation and autochthonous dengue incidence in Cairns, Australia. PLoS One 2013; 8: e81887.
- 8. Beebe NW, Cooper RD, Mottram P, et al. Australia’s dengue risk driven by human adaptation to climate change. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2009; 3: e429.
- 9. Williams CR, Mincham G, Ritchie SA, et al. Bionomic response of Aedes aegypti to two future climate change scenarios in far north Queensland, Australia: implications for dengue outbreaks. Parasite Vector 2014; 7: 447.
- 10. Bhatt S, Gething PW, Brady OJ, et al. The global distribution and burden of dengue. Nature 2013; 496: 504-507.
- 11. Guzman MG, Halstead SB, Artsob H, et al. Dengue: a continuing global threat. Nat Rev Microbiol 2010; 8: S7-S16.
- 12. Lee KS, Lai YL, Lo S, et al. Dengue virus surveillance for early warning, Singapore. Emerg Infect Dis 2010; 16: 847-849.
- 13. World Health Organization. Dengue: guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control. New edition. Geneva: WHO, 2009. http://www.who.int/tdr/publications/documents/dengue-diagnosis.pdf?ua=1 (accessed Feb 2017).
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