Epidemiology of inapparent and symptomatic acute dengue virus infection: a prospective study of primary school children in Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand

Am J Epidemiol. 2002 Jul 1;156(1):40-51. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwf005.


Dengue viruses are a major cause of morbidity in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Knowledge about the epidemiology and host determinants of inapparent and severe dengue virus infections is limited. In this paper, the authors report findings from the first 3 years of a prospective study of dengue virus transmission and disease severity conducted in a cohort of 2,119 elementary school children in northern Thailand. A total of 717,106 person-school days were observed from 1998 to 2000. The incidence of inapparent and of symptomatic dengue virus infection was 4.3% and 3.6% in 1998, 3.2% and 3.3% in 1999, and 1.4% and 0.8% in 2000, respectively. Symptomatic dengue virus infection was responsible for 3.2%, 7.1%, and 1.1% of acute-illness school absences in 1998, 1999, and 2000, respectively. The early symptom complex of acute dengue virus infection is protean and difficult to distinguish from other causes of febrile childhood illnesses. The authors' results illustrate the spatial and temporal diversity of dengue virus infection and the burden of dengue disease in schoolchildren in Thailand. Their findings increase understanding of dengue virus transmission and disease severity in a well-defined cohort population and offer a study design in which to test the efficacy of potential dengue vaccines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Dengue / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Thailand / epidemiology