Dengue infection

Dengue infection is caused by 1 of 4 viruses. It is common in tropical and sub-tropical countries, and is spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Most people infected with dengue have mild or no symptoms. About 1 in 4 people who are infected with dengue will develop symptoms including fever and headache, eye pain, muscle, joint or bone pain, rash or nausea. Though most people recover in about a week, up to 5% of people infected will develop severe dengue. Severe dengue can result in shock, internal bleeding, and even death. The best way to prevent a dengue infection is to prevent mosquito bites.

Key Facts

  • Dengue virus is primarily spread to people by Aedes aegyptiand Aedes albopictus
  • A person can become infected with dengue up to 4 times in his/her lifetime.
  • Dengue is a leading cause of illness in the tropics and subtropics.  Protect yourself and family members from dengue—use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.
  • There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat a dengue virus infection.
  • An estimated 390 million people are infected with dengue each year. Anyone who has traveled to or lives in an area with dengue is at risk for infection.

Prevention Tips

  • If you or a family member have dengue, it is important to avoid mosquito bites during the first week of illness to prevent further spread of the virus.
  • The best way to avoid dengue is to prevent mosquito bites. Use insect repellents when outdoors that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. These ingredients provide long-lasting protection against mosquito bites.
  • Keep mosquitoes out of your home or hotel when traveling. Use screens on windows and doors. Use air conditioning in your hotel room when traveling.

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