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Short communication: Dengue serotype 2 subtype III (‘Jamaica’) epidemic in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

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Summarybackground  During the past decade, dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) have become a public health problem in various Latin American countries. Indications of increased dengue cases in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, early in 1997 were promptly investigated.

methods  We conducted a sample sero-survey in one district of the city. Levels of antidengue IgM were determined and genetic analysis was performed on virus isolates.

results  IgM antibodies were detected in 6.5% (95% CI: 3.4%– 9.6%) of adults (over 15 years old) and 5.1% (2.0%– 8.2%) of children (5–7 years old). Dengue virus serotype 2 subtype III (‘Jamaica’) was isolated.

conclusions  The estimated attack rates are compatible with a dengue epidemic in Santa Cruz. Isolation of dengue-2 ‘Jamaica’ virus documents the further spread of this subtype from the Caribbean via Brazil into South America. Increased DHF preparedness seems mandatory.
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Keywords: Bolivia; dengue; dengue haemorrhagic fever; dengue-2 subtype III (‘Jamaica’)

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium 2: Centro Nacional de Enfermedades Tropicales, Santa Cruz, Bolivia 3: Centers for Disease Control, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Publication date: 1998-11-01

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