Learn About Dengue Fever

What is the definition of Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever is a virus-caused disease that is spread by mosquitoes.

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What are the alternative names for Dengue Fever?

O'nyong-nyong fever; Dengue-like disease; Breakbone fever

What are the causes of Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever is caused by 1 of 4 different but related viruses. It is spread by the bite of mosquitoes, most commonly the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which is found in tropic and subtropic regions. This area includes parts of:

  • Indonesian archipelago into northeastern Australia
  • South and Central America
  • Southeast Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Some parts of the Caribbean (including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands)

Dengue fever is rare in the US mainland, but has been found in Hawaii, Florida, and Texas. Dengue fever should not be confused with dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is a separate disease caused by the same type of virus, but has much more severe symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever begins with a sudden high fever, often as high as 105°F (40.5°C), 4 to 7 days after the infection.

A flat, red rash may appear over most of the body 2 to 5 days after the fever starts. A second rash, which looks like the measles, appears later in the disease. Infected people may have increased skin sensitivity and are very uncomfortable.

Other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache (especially behind the eyes)
  • Joint aches (often severe)
  • Muscle aches (often severe)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal stuffiness
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What are the current treatments for Dengue Fever?

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. Fluids are given if there are signs of dehydration. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is used to treat a high fever.

Avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve). They may increase bleeding problems.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Dengue Fever?

The condition generally lasts a week or more. Although uncomfortable, dengue fever is not deadly. People with the condition should fully recover.

What are the possible complications of Dengue Fever?

Untreated, dengue fever may cause the following health problems:

  • Febrile convulsions
  • Severe dehydration
When should I contact a medical professional for Dengue Fever?

Contact your health care provider if you have traveled in an area where dengue fever is known to occur and you have symptoms of the disease.

How do I prevent Dengue Fever?

Clothing, mosquito repellent, and netting can help reduce the risk for mosquito bites that can spread dengue fever and other infections. Limit outdoor activity during mosquito season, especially when they are most active, at dawn and dusk.

Mosquito, adult feeding on the skin
Dengue fever
Mosquito, adult
Mosquito egg raft
Mosquito - larvae
Mosquito, pupa
What are the latest Dengue Fever Clinical Trials?
Phase II, Randomized, Double-blind, Clinical Tial of the Safety and Immunogenicity of a Tetravalent Dengue Virus Vaccine Admixture TV005 in the Elderly Aged 50-70 Years in Taiwan

Summary: Phase II, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the safety and immunogenicity of the recombinant live attenuated tetravalent dengue virus vaccine admixture TV005 in the elderly in Taiwan

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Effectiveness Of High Dose Melatonin As Adjunctive Therapy For Pediatric Patients Diagnosed With Dengue Fever With Warning Signs: A Randomized Control Trial

Summary: Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease endemic in the Philippines which caused multiple epidemics. Most points to the activation of the complement system secondary to humoral respond leading to cytokine release causing systemic inflammation. Melatonin, is a hormone which has an a) anti-viral, b) immunomodulator, c) antioxidant, d) modulatory effect on hematopoiesis and e) anti-...

What are the Latest Advances for Dengue Fever?
Spontaneous spinal intradural hemorrhage in dengue fever: a case report.
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Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: September 01, 2021
Published By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Dengue. www.cdc.gov/dengue/index.html. Updated November 15, 2021. Accessed December 10, 2021.

Endy TP. Viral febrile illnesses and emerging pathogens. In: Ryan ET, Hill DR, Solomon T, Aronson NE, Endy TP, eds. Hunter's Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 36.

Thomas SJ, Endy TP, Rothman AL, Barrett AD. Flaviviruses (dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile encephalitis, Usutu encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis, Kyasanur forest disease, Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever, Zika). In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 153.