is dengue fever? What is dengue hemorrhagic fever?
Dengue fever is a
flu-like illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.
hemorrhagic fever is a severe, often fatal, complication of dengue
is the infectious agent that causes dengue?
Dengue and dengue
hemorrhagic fever are caused by any of the dengue family of viruses.
Infection with one virus does not protect a person against infection
is dengue spread?
Dengue is spread by
the bite of an Aedes mosquito. The mosquito transmits the
disease by biting an infected person and then biting someone else.
is dengue found?
Dengue viruses occur
in most tropical areas of the world. Dengue is common in Africa, Asia,
the Pacific, Australia, and the Americas. It is widespread in the
Caribbean basin. Dengue is most common in cities but can be found in
rural areas. It is rarely found in mountainous areas above 4,000 feet.
that transmit dengue live among humans and breed in discarded tires,
flower pots, old oil drums, and water storage containers close to
human dwellings. Unlike the mosquitoes that cause malaria, dengue
mosquitoes bite during the day.
are the signs and symptoms of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic
Dengue fever usually
starts suddenly with a high fever, rash, severe headache, pain behind
the eyes, and muscle and joint pain. The severity of the joint pain
has given dengue the name "breakbone fever." Nausea,
vomiting, and loss of appetite are common. A rash usually appears 3 to
4 days after the start of the fever. The illness can last up to 10
days, but complete recovery can take as long as a month. Older
children and adults are usually sicker than young children.
infections result in relatively mild illness, but some can progress to
dengue hemorrhagic fever. With dengue hemorrhagic fever, the blood
vessels start to leak and cause bleeding from the nose, mouth, and
gums. Bruising can be a sign of bleeding inside the body. Without
prompt treatment, the blood vessels can collapse, causing shock
(dengue shock syndrome). Dengue hemorrhagic fever is fatal in about 5
percent of cases, mostly among children and young adults.
soon after exposure do symptoms appear?
The time between the
bite of a mosquito carrying dengue virus and the start of symptoms
averages 4 to 6 days, with a range of 3 to 14 days. An infected person
cannot spread the infection to other persons but can be a source of
dengue virus for mosquitoes for about 6 days.
is dengue diagnosed?
Dengue is diagnosed
by a blood test.
is at risk for dengue?
Anyone who is bitten
by an infected mosquito can get dengue fever. Risk factors for dengue
hemorrhagic fever include a person's age and immune status, as well as
the type of infecting virus. Persons who were previously infected with
one or more types of dengue virus are thought to be at greater risk
for developing dengue hemorrhagic fever if infected again.
is the treatment for dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever?
There is no specific
treatment for dengue. Persons with dengue fever should rest and drink
plenty of fluids. They should be kept away from mosquitoes for the
protection of others. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is treated by replacing
lost fluids. Some patients need transfusions to control bleeding.
common is dengue?
countries around the world, dengue is one of the most common viral
diseases spread to humans by mosquitoes. Tens of millions of cases of
dengue fever and up to hundreds of thousands of cases of dengue
hemorrhagic fever occur each year.
In the United
States, approximately 100 cases of dengue are reported each year in
travelers returning from tropical areas. Many more cases probably go
unreported. A few persons have become infected with dengue while
living in the United States. Aedes mosquitoes are found in
Texas, Florida, and other southern states, and locally acquired dengue
has been reported three times since 1980 in southern Texas.
can dengue be prevented?
There is no vaccine
to prevent dengue. Prevention centers on avoiding mosquito bites when
traveling to areas where dengue occurs and when in U.S. areas,
especially along the Texas-Mexico border, where dengue might occur.
Eliminating mosquito breeding sites in these areas is another key
bites when traveling in tropical areas:
mosquito repellents on skin and clothing.
outdoors during times that mosquitoes are biting, wear
long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks.
heavily populated residential areas.
indoors, stay in air-conditioned or screened areas. Use bednets if
sleeping areas are not screened or air-conditioned.
you have symptoms of dengue, report your travel history to your
mosquito breeding sites in areas where dengue might occur:
mosquito breeding sites around homes. Discard items that can
collect rain or run-off water, especially old tires.
change the water in outdoor bird baths and pet and animal water