Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
GUZMAN, María G. et al. Dengue in Nicaragua, 1994: reintroduction of serotype 3 in the Americas. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.1, n.3, pp. 193-199. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891997000300005.
The principal aim of the report presented here is to describe the reappearance of dengue serotype 3 in the Americas, following a 17-year absence, through the recent experience of Nicaragua. In all, 356 serum samples obtained through Nicaragua's dengue monitoring system in October 1994 during an epidemic were examined. Anti-dengue IgM antibodies were detected in 43% of these, with sera from 12 of the 18 areas covered by Nicaragua's local integrated health care systems yielding positive results. In addition, dengue virus was isolated from 5 of 24 sera obtained from patients with hemorrhagic symptoms, dengue 3 being isolated from 3 of these samples and dengue 1 from the other 2. A diagnosis of dengue with hemorrhagic manifestations or of hemorrhagic dengue was supported or confirmed by laboratory findings obtained from 26 of 39 patients hospitalized in León or Managua. The most frequent symptoms of 18 patients diagnosed as having dengue with hemorrhagic manifestations were fever, headache, vomiting, myalgia, arthralgia, and epistaxis. The remaining eight patients, diagnosed as having probable hemorrhagic dengue, exhibited fever, general malaise, hemorrhaging, thrombocytopenia, hemoconcentration, and hemagglutination-inhibition antibody titers ranging from 640 to 20 480. Overall, the reappearance of dengue serotype 3 in the Region was confirmed, together with its ability to produce cases of hemorrhagic dengue. At least in Nicaragua, it is apparent that the introduction of dengue serotype 3 has prompted an increase in the number of classical dengue and hemorrhagic dengue cases, a scenario that might constitute the grim prelude to future developments in the Americas if urgent attention is not given to controlling the disease's mosquito vector.