What is it?
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease contracted after you’ve been bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito
The sudden onset of symptoms occurs 3-14 days after the initial bite
There are 4 subtypes
Every time you get infected the symptoms get worse as does the risk of complications
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include high fever, headache, severe muscle, joint and lower back pain, nausea, vomiting and generalized weakness
A rash spreading to the arms, legs and face may occur 3-4 days after the onset of Dengue fever
Symptoms typically last for about a week however recovery can take several weeks
Most people with Dengue fever do not need hospitalization
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and Dengue shock syndrome (DSS) occur in people who have already been infected with a strain of the Dengue virus
Symptoms include those related to classic Dengue, along with severe abdominal pain, bleeding under the skin and shock
In some cases, DHF can be fatal
How can I contract Dengue fever?
From the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito
Where can I contract it?
Areas of highest risk include Southeast Asia and Latin America
However, Dengue fever is endemic in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands
More cases occur during warm humid weather
What vaccines are available?
There is a vaccine available in parts of Asia however it does not cover all the subtypes and is not licensed or available in North America or Europe
How can I prevent Dengue fever?
The Aedes mosquito is more active during the day so you can reduce your risk by using insecticides and choosing air-conditioned accommodation or well-screened windows if possible
Also use repellents that contain DEET or Icaridin
Other preventive measures include limiting daytime activities and wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts
If you are sleeping outdoors use a permethrin-treated bed net
What is the treatment?
There is no specific treatment or medication for Dengue infection
Acetaminophen can be used to reduce pain
Avoid drugs like aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen as these drugs thin the blood and can increase the chance of hemorrhage