Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus that causes dengue fever. It is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infective female Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which can be identified by the black and white stripes on their bodies.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years, with up to 50 to 100 million infections annually in over 100 countries.
There are four different serotypes of the dengue virus: DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4. Recovering from one serotype generally provides lifelong immunity but this does extend to the other serotypes. Hence, individuals can be infected with dengue up to four times.
Those who have dengue fever may experience the following symptoms:
- Sudden onset of fever for 2 to 7 days
- Severe headache with pain behind the eyes
- Joint and muscle pain
- Skin rashes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mild bleeding from the nose or gums or easy bruising of the skin
In rare cases, infections may progress to severe dengue, which is life-threatening. If you think you might have dengue fever, you should seek medical attention immediately.