Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2010
Publication Date: 10/28/2010
Citation: Mohammed, H., Ramos, M., Armstrong, J., Lewis, K.O., Ayala, A., Clark, G.G., Tull, E.S., Beatty, M.E. 2010. An outbreak of dengue fever in St. Croix (U. S. Virgin Islands), 2005. PLoS One. 5(10):e13729. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013729. Interpretive Summary: Dengue is the most important mosquito-borne viral (arboviral) disease of humans in the world. Dengue viruses can produce a disease spectrum ranging from an illness with fever, severe headache, and joint/muscle pain to a more severe manifestation of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and sometimes death. While there are several risk factors leading to DHF, they are not clearly defined. During a 2005 dengue outbreak on the island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, race was studied as a risk factor for DHF among 89 hospitalized patients. Although no significant association between race and severe dengue was found, it was recommended that further research on this issue should be conducted in the Caribbean Basin.
Technical Abstract: In the summer of 2005, an outbreak of dengue virus serotype-2 with cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) occurred in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. The medical records of all dengue laboratory-positive patients either seen in the Emergency Department of or admitted to the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center were reviewed. Using this data, we compared clinical outcomes in 89 laboratory-positive hospital-based patients to determine if self-identified race was associated with dengue severity. No statistically significant associations between race and DHF or other severe clinical manifestations of dengue were found, but our study was under-powered. Further research should be conducted in the Caribbean to examine the question of a dengue resistance gene in those of African descent.