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February 12, 2016
Estimating dengue mortality

Dengue is the most common arbovirus infection globally, but its burden is poorly quantified. To aid this, Stanaway et al have estimated dengue mortality, incidence, and burden in a new paper, The global burden of dengue: an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The authors, including Dr Oliver Brady and Prof. Simon I Hay, modelled mortality from vital registration, verbal autopsy, and surveillance data using the Cause of Death Ensemble Modelling tool. Incidence was modelled from officially reported cases, and raw estimates were adjusted for under-reporting based on published estimates of expansion factors.

Although lower than other estimates, the results offer more evidence that the true symptomatic incidence of dengue probably falls within the commonly cited range of 50 million to 100 million cases per year. Our mortality estimates are lower than those presented elsewhere and should be considered in light of the totality of evidence suggesting that dengue mortality might, in fact, be substantially higher.