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January 9/16, 2008

Dengue and Hemorrhagic Fever: A Potential Threat to Public Health in the United States

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

JAMA. 2008;299(2):214-216. doi:10.1001/jama.2007.31-a

Most individuals in the United States are as little concerned about dengue fever as they were a decade ago about West Nile fever. That situation could change if dengue continues its expansion as one of the world's most aggressive reemerging infections. After decades of absence in the United States, the sometimes deadly disease is again striking US individuals, causing an epidemic in Hawaii in 2001,1 appearing with increasing frequency along the Texas-Mexico border,2 returning with unprecedented severity in US tropical territories and commonwealths such as Puerto Rico,3 and striking overseas travelers.4,5