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The ongoing battle against dengue

3 mins
Man fumigating outdoor area


Successful past campaigns

Campaigns to remove dengue mosquitoes were very successful in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, by the early 70s Aedes aegypti mosquitoes had been eradicated in 21 countries.1 Recently though, dengue cases have been on the rise again globally.2


Hitting back: Global collaboration milestones

Recently, many global organizations, governments, and communities have joined forces to tackle dengue:

Ongoing battle

Assembling an expert team

The International Dengue Task Force was created as a combination of experienced teams, each with their own areas of expertise:5

  • Epidemiological Surveillance: Knowledge of the principles and recent advances in epidemiology, surveillance, and biostatistics


  • Laboratory Procedures: Experience in different diagnostic techniques for dengue


  • Case Management: Early detection of cases, management of severe dengue, and education of health workers


  • Mass Communications: New communication strategies to help behaviour and the health authorities reach the community


  • Vector-Control Activities: Mosquito control and environmental management activities


Modern problems and modern solutions

Other, more localized and novel techniques have also been attempted, such as:6

  • Mapping dengue hotspots: to help locate areas with high dengue cases and more targeted preventive measures


  • Use of effective surveillance systems: to provide timely responses to dengue outbreaks


  • Destruction of mosquito breeding sites: such as water containers


  • Community-based control programs: educating communities about mosquito breeding sites and control


  • Biological control methods: like introducing genetically modified bacteria or using sterile male mosquitoes to help suppress the dengue vector population


  • Using fish and plant-based insecticides: to provide eco-friendly and cost-effective options for controlling mosquitoes


  • Chemical control methods: such as insecticides and insect growth regulators, to prevent the growth and development of mosquitoes


  • Use of pheromones: used to attract and kill mosquitoes


The struggle with dengue continues

Unfortunately, traditional strategies to combat dengue have not been satisfactory and it remains a major global public health threat – global cases have surged 10-fold from 2000-2019.6-8 Since the founding of The International Dengue Task Force in 2003, global dengue cases reported have reached new heights, with a new record set in 2019.1,2 According to the WHO, more and more countries are reporting their first outbreaks and, explosive outbreaks are occurring across Europe.2 


As it stands, about half of the world's population is now at risk of dengue, with an estimated 100–400 million infections occurring each year.2


If you are worried about dengue or have any other healthcare-related questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional promptly.



Related content


  1. The Pan American Health Organization. Integrated management strategy for dengue prevention and control. Available at: https://www.paho.org/en/topics/dengue/integrated-management-strategy-dengue-prevention-and-control. Accessed November 2023.

  2. World Health Organization. Dengue and Severe Dengue. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue. Accessed January 2024.

  3. Devine GJ, et al. Trends Parasitol. 2019;35(4):267-270.

  4. World Health Organization. Neglected tropical diseases: Global vector control response 2017-2030. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/neglected-tropical-diseases-global-vector-control-response-2017-2030. Accessed January 2024.

  5. The Pan American Health Organization. The International Dengue Task Force: Dedicated to the Fight against Dengue. Available at: https://www.paho.org/en/topics/dengue/international-dengue-task-force-dedicated-fight-against-dengue. Accessed November 2023.

  6. Rather IA, et al. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 2017;7:336.

  7. Rodriguez-Manzano J, et al. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2018;20(8):25.

  8. World Health Organization. Dengue - Global situation. Available at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease-outbreak-news/item/2023-DON498. Accessed January 2024.

  9. World Health Organization. Global Strategy For Dengue Prevention And Control. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/75303/9789241504034_eng.pdf. Accessed November 2023.