Dengue Fever Risk for Healthcare Workers Returning from Haiti – May 2010 Health Alert

The CDC has received reports of dengue fever among relief workers returning from Haiti, where the disease is endemic. Healthcare providers in the US should consider dengue in the differential diagnosis of febrile illness in any person who has recently been in Haiti or other countries where dengue is being transmitted, and are encouraged to submit samples to state health departments (available from AZ, CA, CT, FL, NY, PR, and TX) or the CDC for proper laboratory testing. In US areas with Aedes mosquitoes present, infected travelers may also present a risk for local spread of dengue virus(es).

As of 2010, dengue virus infections, including dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), were added to the list of nationally notifiable conditions. Improved dengue surveillance, consistent with international public health reporting obligations under the revised International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005), will help detect and report dengue cases when they occur.

Many parts of the US have competent vectors for dengue viruses; therefore, infected travelers may also present a risk for potential local spread of dengue. Three states (Florida, Texas, and Hawaii) have had local outbreaks identified in the last decade.