Burden of dengue among febrile patients at the time of chikungunya introduction in Piedecuesta, Colombia

Mabel Carabali, Jacqueline K. Lim, Diana C. Palencia, Anyela Lozano-Parra, Rosa Margarita Gelvez, Kang Sung Lee, Janeth P. Florez, Victor Mauricio Herrera, Jay S. Kaufman, Elsa M. Rojas, Luis Angel Villar

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To estimate the age-specific incidence of symptomatic dengue and chikungunya in Colombia. Method: A passive facility-based fever surveillance study was conducted among individuals with undifferentiated fever. Confirmatory diagnostics included serological and molecular tests in paired samples, and surveillance's underreporting was assessed using capture–recapture methods. Results: Of 839 febrile participants 686 completed the study. There were 33.2% (295/839) dengue infections (51% primary infections), and 35.9% (191/532) of negative dengue cases there were chikungunya cases. On average, dengue cases were younger (median = 18 years) than chikungunya cases (median = 25 years). Thrombocytopaenia and abdominal pain were the main dengue predictors, while presence of rash was the main predictor for chikungunya diagnosis. Underreporting of dengue was 31%; the estimated expansion factors indicate an underreporting rate of dengue cases of threefold for all cases and of almost sixfold for inpatients. Conclusions: These findings highlight the ongoing coexistence of both arboviruses, a distinct clinical profile of each condition in the study area that could be used by clinicians to generate a differential diagnosis, and the presence of underreporting, mostly among hospitalised cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1241
Number of pages11
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • chikungunya
  • clinical characterisation
  • Colombia
  • dengue
  • disease incidence
  • fever surveillance
  • underreporting


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