Dengue—a viral disease that can refer to both dengue fever and the more severe dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)—swept away records again this past spring as it raged across Brazil, infecting more than 160,000 people and killing more than 100. The reports were similar to those out of Southeast Asia in the summer of 2007, South America the previous spring, and India the fall before that. Although it may not be the most devastating of the mosquito-borne diseases—malaria strikes 10 times more people and yellow fever kills more of its victims—dengue has become a major public health concern for two reasons: the speed with which it is spreading and the escalating seriousness of its complications.

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