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Aedes-borne disease outbreaks in West Africa: A call for enhanced surveillance.

Abstract

Arboviruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes are a growing global concern; however, there remain large gaps in surveillance of both arboviruses and their vectors in West Africa. We reviewed over 50 years of data including outbreak reports, peer-reviewed literature, and prior data compilations describing Zika, dengue, and chikungunya, and their vectors in West Africa. Large outbreaks of dengue, Zika, and chikungunya have recently occurred in the region with over 27,000 cases of Aedes-borne disease documented since 2007. Recent arboviral outbreaks have become more concentrated in urban areas, and Aedes albopictus, recently documented in the region, has emerged as an important vector in several areas. Seroprevalence surveys suggest reported cases are a gross underestimate of the underlying arboviral disease burden. These findings indicate a shifting epidemiology of arboviral disease in West Africa and highlight a need for increased research and implementation of vector and disease control. Rapid urbanization and climate change may further alter disease patterns, underscoring the need for improved diagnostic capacity, and vector and disease surveillance to address this evolving health challenge.

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