Widespread epidemic: Pakistani patients infected with dengue fever share beds in a ward at a hospital in Lahore, Pakistan (Sept. 7, 2011).Source: Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images
More than one-third of the world’s population—approximately 2.5 billion people—are at risk of contracting dengue fever, with over 50-100 million infections occurring per year, a World Health Organization study revealed.
“Before 1970, only nine countries had experienced severe dengue epidemics,” the report stated. “The disease is now endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, South-east Asia and the Western Pacific. South-east Asia and the Western Pacific regions are the most seriously affected.”
The study further showed, “Not only is the number of cases increasing as the disease spreads to new areas, but explosive outbreaks are occurring. The threat of a possible outbreak of dengue fever now exists in Europe…”