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With more than 300 million infections estimated annually worldwide, dengue is the most prevalent arboviral infection. On Reunion Island, after a large outbreak in 1977–78, only limited episodes of viral circulation or sporadic cases were reported till 2015.


Our objective was to document and report on the circulation of dengue virus after the occurrence of a small outbreak during austral summer 2015/16 and until the large outbreak of 2018.


Beside the mandatory notification of biologically confirmed dengue cases, additional systems of surveillance were set up: estimation of dengue-like syndrome in people seeking care by their family doctor, surveillance of emergency department visits related to dengue, surveillance of hospitalised dengue patients and deaths classifications.


After a moderate outbreak during summer 2015/16 with 231 cases, 2017 was characterised by limited viral circulation (97 cases) which, however, persisted during the austral winter. By February 2018, the number of cases had increased and led to a peak at the beginning of May 2018. More than 6,000 cases were reported this year (dengue virus type 2 only). In addition, six deaths of dengue patients were notified.


In 2017, the persistence of transmission during winter created favourable conditions for the emergence of an epidemic during summer 2018. After this moderate epidemic wave, the viral circulation persisted during winter 2018 for the second year, opening the door for the second wave in 2019 and for potential endemisation of the disease on Reunion Island in the near future.


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