The First Outbreak of Dengue Fever in Greater Darfur, Western Sudan

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© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Dengue virus (DENV) is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes, mainly Aedes aegypti. Dengue fever is a rapidly growing disease with expanding geographical distribution worldwide. We investigated a high number of non-malaria febrile cases reported to health clinics in refugee camps in the five states of Darfur between August 2015 and March 2016. The clinical presentation of cases and case definition criteria suggested involvement of one or more arboviral hemorrhagic fevers. Out of 560 suspected cases, we collected and analyzed 204 blood samples and serologically positive samples were confirmed by PCR. We identified 32 (15.7%) dengue viral infections, six West Nile virus infections, and three Crimean-Congo viral infections. Dengue infections were found in four out of the five Darfur states. We reported the first dengue fever outbreak in the Darfur region. Our results highlight the need for public health education and further molecular, phylogenetic, and entomological investigations for a better understanding of the disease transmission and the associated risk factors in the region.