Dengue Fever: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Dengue Fever,Aedes mosquitoes

What is dengue fever?

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection that causes a flu-like illness. It is one of the most common mosquito-borne diseases in the world, with an estimated 390 million infections occurring each year. Dengue fever is caused by four different viruses, which are closely related to each other. These viruses are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito.

Aedes mosquitoes

Aedes mosquitoes are small, black and white mosquitoes that are active during the day, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon. They are found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Aedes mosquitoes bite humans to obtain blood for their eggs. When an Aedes mosquito bites an infected person, it can become infected with the dengue virus. The virus then incubates in the mosquito for 4-10 days before it can be transmitted to another person.

Symptoms of dengue fever

The symptoms of dengue fever usually appear 4-10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms include:

  • High fever (104°F or higher)
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin rash

The rash typically appears 2-5 days after the onset of fever and lasts for 3-7 days. It usually starts on the face and neck and then spreads to the chest, back and limbs. The rash can be red, flat, or slightly raised.

In some cases, dengue fever can develop into a more severe form known as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS). DHF and DSS are characterized by bleeding, low blood pressure, and shock.


DHF is the most common severe form of dengue fever. It is characterized by bleeding, which can be mild or severe. Bleeding can occur from the nose, gums, skin, and other parts of the body.


DSS is the most severe form of dengue fever. It is a life-threatening condition that is characterized by low blood pressure and shock. DSS can develop rapidly and can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Treatment for dengue fever

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. Treatment is supportive and aimed at relieving symptoms and preventing complications. This may include the following:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to relieve fever and muscle aches
  • Avoiding aspirin and ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as these can increase the risk of bleeding

If you have DHF or DSS, you will need to be hospitalized for close monitoring and treatment. This may include intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, and other supportive measures.

Prevention of dengue fever

There is no vaccine available to prevent dengue fever. However, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of being bitten by an Aedes mosquito and becoming infected with the dengue virus, including:

  • Using insect repellent containing DEET when you are outdoors
  • Wearing long sleeves and pants when you are outdoors
  • Using mosquito nets over your bed when you are sleeping
  • Removing standing water from your property, which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes

If you live in or are traveling to an area where dengue fever is common, it is important to be aware of the symptoms and to seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of them.

Epidemiology of dengue fever

Dengue fever is a global health problem, with an estimated 390 million infections occurring each year. The disease is most common in tropical and subtropical regions, particularly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. However, dengue fever has also been reported in many other parts of the world, including the United States and Europe.

The number of dengue fever cases has been increasing in recent years, due to a number of factors, including climate change, urbanization, and population growth. Climate change is leading to warmer temperatures and more rainfall, which are ideal conditions for mosquito breeding. Urbanization and population growth are also creating more areas where mosquitoes and humans come into contact with each other.

Impact of dengue fever

Dengue fever is a significant public health problem, particularly in developing countries. The disease can lead to a loss of productivity, increased healthcare costs, and even death. In 2013, dengue fever was estimated to have caused 39,000 deaths.

Dengue fever can also have a significant social and economic impact on individuals and families. People who are sick with dengue fever may be unable to work or go to school. This can lead to financial hardship for families. Dengue fever can also lead to stigma and discrimination, as people may be afraid of being bitten by an infected mosquito or of becoming sick themselves.

Research on dengue fever

Researchers are working on a number of different approaches to prevent and treat dengue fever. One promising area of research is the development of a vaccine. There are a number of dengue vaccine candidates that are currently in clinical trials. One such vaccine candidate, Dengvaxia, was approved for use in Mexico and the Philippines in 2015. However, Dengvaxia was later found to be ineffective in people who had not been previously infected with the dengue virus. This led to the suspension of its use in the Philippines.

Another area of research is the development of new antiviral drugs to treat dengue fever. There are currently no antiviral drugs that are specifically approved for the treatment of dengue fever. However, a number of antiviral drugs are currently in clinical trials. One such drug, favipiravir, has been shown to be effective in reducing the severity of dengue fever in adults.

Researchers are also working on new ways to control mosquito populations and prevent the spread of dengue fever. This includes the development of new insecticides and mosquito traps. Researchers are also investigating the use of genetically modified mosquitoes to suppress mosquito populations.


Dengue fever is a serious public health problem that affects millions of people around the world. Researchers are working on a number of different approaches to prevent and treat dengue fever. However, more research is needed to develop effective and affordable vaccines and treatments for the disease.

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