Surveillance of deaths caused by arboviruses in Brazil: from dengue to chikungunya

Luciano Pamplona de Góes Cavalcanti André Ricardo Ribas Freitas Patrícia Brasil Rivaldo Venâncio da Cunha About the authors

Did death occur DUE TO dengue, or in a patient WITH dengue virus infection? It seems a matter of semantics, but in fact, it underscores how challenging it is to distinguish whether the disease contributed to death, or was itself the underlying cause of death. Can a death be attributed to chikungunya virus, when some deaths occur after the acute phase? Did the virus decompensate the underlying diseases, leading to death? Did prolonged hospitalisation lead to infection, resulting in the patient’s progression to death? Were there iatrogenic complications during patient care? The dengue question, for which there has not yet been a definitive response, resurfaces prominently under the chikungunya surveillance scenario. We are facing an epidemic of a disease that seems to be more lethal than previously thought. The major challenge ahead is to investigate deaths suspected of occurring due to arbovirus infections and to understand the role of each infection in the unfavourable outcome.

surveillance; death; arboviruses; dengue; chikungunya

Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Ministério da Saúde Av. Brasil, 4365 - Pavilhão Mourisco, Manguinhos, 21040-900 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel.: (55 21) 2562-1222, Fax: (55 21) 2562 1220 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil