Dengue is present in sub-Saharan Africa but often unrecognised; however dengue infection is reported in travellers returning from Africa. In the recent years 2007-2009, dengue has been documented in several countries in West Africa, and particularly DEN3 virus.
DEN3 virus has been identified in October 2009 in travellers returning from Senegal in Italy and France and during an outbreak in Cape Verde. It is the first time than dengue is documented in Cape Verde archipelago. The outbreak may be related to unusual heavy rainfalls.
In the recent years, DEN3 virus has been isolated in travellers from Cameroon in 2006, from Senegal and Gabon in 2007, and from Cote d’Ivoire in 2008. In East Africa, DEN3 also has been identified in a traveller from Eritrea in 2008.
The importance of dengue transmission in Africa is underestimated. Laboratory investigations (RT-PCR, antigen detection, serology) in travellers with suspected dengue illness returning from tropical countries provide useful information about current dengue transmission including the dengue virus serotypes particularly in Africa where reports often are missing.
Ninove L et al. Dengue virus type 3 infection in traveller returning from West Africa. Emerg Inf Dis 2009, 15:1871-1872
Dengue in Africa: emergence of DENV-3, Côte d’Ivoire, 2008. WER 2009, 84:85-88.
European network for viral imported disease - Collaborative Laboratory Response Network (ENIVD-CLRN). Source: A. Tenorio, A. Di Caro and C. Renaudat, O. Vapalathi, A. Sall
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