New Delhi: A study published in The Lancet Regional Health – Southeast Asia journal has found a dengue seroprevalence of 30.9 per cent among children aged 9–12 and 24.6 per cent in 5–8-year-olds in Kerala, categorising it as low to moderate. The study unveils a nuanced landscape of dengue prevalence among children aged 5–12, shedding light on the complex dynamics of the mosquito-borne viral disease.
Seroprevalence is the number of persons in a population who test positive for a specific disease based on serology (blood serum) specimens.
With a sample size of 5,236, the research exposes regional variations and highlights the need for targeted preventive measures, the researchers said.
This prevalence is lower than many endemic countries but higher than Singapore, they said.
The team, including researchers from the Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala University of Health Sciences, emphasises the importance of understanding these nuances for effective vaccination policies and public health interventions.
The research reveals a higher prevalence in urban areas and among the lower socio-economic group, emphasizing the influence of urbanisation on dengue transmission.
Boys show significantly higher seroprevalence, potentially linked to clothing and activity patterns, the researchers said.
The study indicates a hyperendemic situation in Kerala, with all four dengue serotypes circulating, and highlights the emergence of different strains over the years.
The researchers found that apparent dengue represents only a fraction of cases, with 89 per cent of children unaware of their past dengue infections.
This underscores the potential role of undetected individuals as primary reservoirs for dengue transmission, necessitating a reevaluation of control and prevention strategies, they said.
The researchers recruited students from randomly selected classrooms. The study’s findings have significant implications for dengue prevention strategies, the researchers said.
Despite an overall low to moderate prevalence, the high variability across clusters within the same districts underscores the need for targeted interventions, they said.
The study calls for urgent strengthening of preventive measures to curb potential severe outcomes and mortality due to dengue.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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