What is dengue fever?
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a virus. The disease is mainly tropical in origin but occasionally resident or visitors from other countries may arrive in this country with dengue fever. Cases originating in the United States are virtually unknown.
How is dengue fever spread?
Dengue fever is spread by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes.
Who gets dengue fever?
Dengue fever may occur in people of all ages who are exposed to infected mosquitoes. The disease occurs mainly in tropical Asia and the Caribbean, usually during the rainy seasons in areas with high numbers of infected mosquitoes.
What are the symptoms of dengue fever?
Dengue fever is characterized by the rapid development of a fever that may last from five to seven days with intense headache, joint and muscle pain and a rash. The rash develops on the feet or legs three to four days after the beginning of the fever. The hemorrhagic form of dengue fever is more severe and associated with loss of appetite, vomiting, high fever, headaches and abdominal pain. Shock and circulatory failure may occur. Untreated hemorrhagic dengue results in death in up to 50 percent of cases.
How soon do symptoms occur?
Dengue fever may occur from three to 15 days after exposure to an infected mosquito, commonly within five to six days.
Does past infection with dengue virus make a person immune?
Immunity may be produces to the same strain of dengue virus after repeated exposures.
What is the treatment for dengue fever?
There is no specific treatment available. Intravenous fluids and oxygen therapy are often used for patients who experience shock during their illness.
What can be done to prevent the spread of dengue fever?
Control measures are limited to advising travelers to affected areas to minimize exposure to infected mosquitoes. Use of mosquito netting and repellents may be helpful in minimizing exposure.
This fact sheet is for informational purposes only. It should not be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you think that you may have this infection, or have questions about the disease described above, you should consult your health care provider.
For additional information on this disease, visit the Centers or Disease Control and Prevention website.
To contact the Epidemiology and Emerging Infections Program, please call 860-509-7994.