Dengue fever is a major public health problem in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, preventive strategies are still deficient. It can progress to severe and lethal forms, and available knowledge does not allow early prediction of which cases of dengue fever (DF) will progress to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). The aim of this study was to evaluate the host and viral factors that could play a role in the progression of severe dengue cases in the frame of the revised 2009 WHO classification. Data were compiled from the Jeddah Dengue Fever Operation Room (DFOR) in the Maden Al-Fahd primary healthcare center in Jeddah. An unmatched case-control study was conducted on 123 severe cases, and 245 controls (non-severe cases) diagnosed during 2014–2016. Risk factors for severe dengue fever were secondary infection (p = 0.02), and co-morbidities, particularly diabetes and hypertension (p < 0.001). Age, gender, nationality, socioeconomic status, viral serotype, and access to health care were not significantly associated with severe disease. The main risk factors for severe dengue fever were secondary infection, and co-morbidities (hypertension and diabetes). We recommend disseminating these data to stakeholders to improve dengue control interventions in periods with anticipated high incidence.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology