Dengue fever, also known as breakbone fever, results from a mosquito-borne viral infection. It can lead to severe illness in some cases. Four different viruses can cause dengue fever, and Aedes mosquitoes transmit it.
Symptoms range of dengue fever from mild to severe. Severe symptoms
In 2019, the
For most people, the best way to prevent dengue fever is to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
There is no cure for dengue fever. However, early recognition and treatment can help manage symptoms and
In 2021, there were
This article looks at the symptoms and causes of dengue fever and who is at risk.
Symptoms of dengue fever will depend on the severity of the disease. Around
If symptoms occur, there may be a sudden fever of around
- aching muscles and joints
- pain behind the eyes
- nausea and vomiting
- facial flushing
- sore throat
- red eyes
The symptoms typically last between
First, the fever typically falls to 99.5 to 100.4°F (37.5 to 38°C). Severe symptoms may then appear
- abdominal pain or tenderness
- vomiting at least three times in 24 hours
- bleeding from the nose or gums
- vomiting blood
- blood in the stool
- feeling restless or irritable
changes in temperaturefrom very hot to very cold
- cold, clammy skin
- a weak and rapid pulse
- a reduced difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure
Anyone with severe symptoms needs immediate medical attention.
Severe signs and symptoms can indicate DSS or DHF. They are potentially fatal.
Here are some images that may help identify dengue fever.
Treatment for dengue involves managing the symptoms.
- drinking water to help prevent dehydration
- getting plenty of rest
- using pain relief, such as Tylenol or paracetamol, which can also help reduce fever
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen are not suitable as they can increase the risk of internal bleeding.
In some cases, a doctor may
- IV fluid supplementation
- a blood transfusion
- a platelet transfusion, in some cases
These species of mosquitoes live in tropical and subtropical areas around the world, including
A mosquito carrying the virus passes it to a human by biting them. When another mosquito bites a person with the condition, it will pick up the condition. Then the mosquito will pass the virus on to the next person it bites.
A person can have dengue fever more than once. They will become immune to the specific virus that caused it, though they will not be immune to the other three viruses.
A person is at risk of dengue fever if they live or travel in an area where dengue occurs and mosquitoes that can carry it live.
Dengue occurs in
- North and South America
- South-East Asia
- the Pacific Islands
- the Eastern Mediterranean
Around 70% of cases occur in Asia.
Among U.S. citizens,
- Puerto Rico
- the U.S. Virgin Islands
- American Samoa
Americans are most likely to contract the infection while traveling. However, local transmission is possible in many parts of the U.S., as the mosquitoes that transmit it live there.
The signs and symptoms of dengue fever are similar to some other diseases such as influenza and malaria. This can make diagnosis challenging.
A doctor will
- assess the symptoms
- ask about the person’s medical and travel history
- order blood tests to confirm the diagnosis
It is for people who:
- are ages 9–16 years
- have had dengue in the past
- live in areas where dengue is common, including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
People who are not eligible for the vaccine can lower their risk by taking steps to avoid mosquito bites.
- wearing clothes that cover the body
- using mosquito repellents on the body
- using mosquito nets
- using window and door screens
- treating camping gear or clothes with insect repellent before use
- if possible, avoiding being outside at dawn, dusk, and early evening
- remove any stagnant water around the home and avoid camping near still water
- check that drains, plant pots, and other features are not collecting water
Mosquitoes spread the virus that causes dengue fever. Most people do not experience symptoms. However, if they do, the symptoms are often mild. In some cases, dengue fever can be life threatening.
Symptoms include fever, aches and pains, and a rash. A person with more severe symptoms may start vomiting persistently, or experience bleeding from their gums or nose, among other symptoms. Severe dengue needs immediate medical attention.