Enhanced surveillance for fatal dengue-like acute febrile illness in Puerto Rico, 2010-2012

Dengue is a major public health problem in the tropics. Despite its global importance, population-based mortality rates attributable to dengue are largely unknown. Dengue vaccines are now in late stage clinical trials and one vaccine has been licensed in several countries. Evidence-based decisions regarding the future use of dengue vaccines will depend on robust estimates of disease burden which should include mortality. To estimate mortality due to dengue in Puerto Rico, where dengue is endemic, we developed an enhanced surveillance system to detect fatalities due to a preceeding dengue-like acute febrile illness using more sensitive case identification and laboratory methods than the previous passive method.

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