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Estimating the Costs of Dengue

Break-bone fever
: Dengue, which is referred to by many as “break-bone fever,” is a mosquitoborne viral disease that normally causes severe flulike illness but may progress to hemorrhagic disease and death in some cases. Most people who are infected with dengue develop dengue fever (DF), which can be temporarily debilitating but is seldom fatal. In some cases, though, people develop a severe form of the disease known as severe dengue fever (SDF). A person with SDF can develop a high fever and have abnormal bleeding, known as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which can be serious. SDF can also include shock (dengue shock syndrome [DSS]) and, in some cases, death. Together DHF and DSS comprise the category of severe dengue fever (SDF).

There are 4 subtypes of dengue virus (DENV 1-4). Once a person is infected with one subtype of dengue, s/he is immune to reinfection with that subtype but susceptible to infection with the other subtypes. The risk of contracting severe dengue is greatest in people who are infected with dengue more than once.1

Dengue incidence: Dengue occurs mainly in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. However, incidence of the disease is rising and the geographic distribution of cases is expanding, making dengue the fastest-spreading mosquitoborne virus in the world.1 The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that nearly 2/5 of the global population is currently at risk for dengue infection.1,2


Despite the growing risk of dengue, there is no established reliable estimate of the actual incidence of the disease. Moreover, there are very few country-level estimates of cost and no evidence-based estimates of the global cost of this disease.

In every country at risk for dengue, public health practitioners and political leaders must decide how best to apply (often) limited resources to prevention and control efforts that will limit the spread of dengue. The best way to make those decisions is through a cost-benefit analysis. The IDCC cost model for dengue provides an evidence-based calculation of dengue incidence and societal costs per country, including the direct costs incurred through provision of health care and the indirect costs incurred through loss of productivity.

Go to Dengue Cost Model

Calculate the Cost of Dengue for Your Country

There are 3 ways to access IDCC cost analyses:

  1. Use the calculator to estimate dengue costs for your country. Use the CUSTOMIZED calculator to change variables and customize your estimates.
  2. Explore IDCC estimates across the globe with our interactive maps.

  3. Download the IDCC spreadsheets to gain access to all IDCC variables and calculate the costs yourself.