Summary: Outbreaks of the severe dengue syndrome, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), emerged beginning in the 1950s, marking a dramatic change in the dengue syndrome. While intense investigations in multiple directions have been conducted for many years to elucidate the intrinsic mechanisms conducive to the development of DHF, no consensus has yet emerged. Meanwhile, relatively little attention has been paid to the occurrence of severe dengue and death prior to the 1950s. This comprehensive review was designed to evaluate outbreak records in the early dengue history to better understand the epidemiologic background and other factors that existed before the emergence of DHF outbreaks. By applying a set of stringent criteria to remove unreliable data as much as possible and by interpreting the results conservatively, a short list of etiologically more reliable outbreaks with high mortality was obtained. The results show that severe dengue syndrome, clinically very much compatible with DHF, occurred far more frequently in multiple locations than it had been assumed before; that the magnitudes of mortality in several outbreaks were not negligible; and that the epidemiologic background features shared among these outbreaks in the early period were, with the exceptions of more limited demographic changes, generally similar to the post-1950 conditions
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.