Dengue viruses are spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Dengue is common in more than 100 countries around the world. About 1 in 4 people who are infected with dengue will get sick. The most common symptom of dengue is fever with any of the following: nausea, vomiting, rash, aches and pains (eye pain, typically behind the eyes, muscles, joint, or bone pain), and any warning signs. Though most people recover after about a week, 1 in 20 people who get sick will develop severe dengue. Severe dengue can result in shock, internal bleeding, and even death. The best way to prevent dengue is to prevent mosquito bites.


Key Facts

  • Dengue virus is primarily spread to people by Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes.
  • A person can become infected with dengue up to 4 times in his/her lifetime.
  • Dengue is often a leading cause of illness in areas with risk. Do your homework before traveling. Protect yourself and family members from dengue—use an EPA-registered insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.
  • A dengue vaccine is available for use in some parts of the world.
    • In May 2019, Dengvaxia was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States for use in children 9-16 years old living in an area where dengue is common (the US territories of American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands), with laboratory confirmed prior dengue infection.
    • Information on the vaccine’s availability in the US territories is pending.
  • An estimated 400 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.


Mosquito Bites Spread Dengue

The female Aedes aegypti mosquito after biting a person. These mosquitoes live near people, inside and outside the home, and bite during the day and night.

Woman checking temperature
Could it be dengue?

See your doctor if you recently traveled and develop a fever and with any of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, rash, aches and pains (eye pain, muscle, joint, or bone pain) or any warning signs. Warning signs can include stomach pain, vomiting, bleeding from nose or gums, vomiting blood or blood in the stool, or feeling tired, restless, or irritable.

Mother giving orange juice to sick son
Caring for a Dengue Patient

Rest and control fever with acetaminophen or paracetamol (do not give ibuprofen, aspirin, or aspirin containing drugs). Fever and vomiting can cause dehydration. Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids such as water, or drinks with added electrolytes.

Family on vacation
Traveling? Do Your Homework

Anyone traveling to the tropical or subtropical countries could is at risk for getting dengue. For more information where dengue is common and how to prevent getting infected, see

Woman spraying on insect repellent
Use Insect Repellent when Outdoors

Prevent mosquito bites by using an EPA-registered insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone. Always follow label instructions.

World map of dengue locations
Where is dengue common?

Find out if you are at risk for dengue and other travel illnesses. Visit CDC’s Traveler’s Health web page at

Baby and stroller covered by mosquito netting
Protect Your Infant or Toddler

If you are traveling with an infant or toddler, cover strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.

Mother putting insect repellent on toddler
How to Apply Insect Repellent on Young Children

Do not apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, cuts, or irritated skin. Adults should spray insect repellent onto their hands and then apply to a child’s face.

Prevention Tips

  • The best way to avoid dengue is to prevent mosquito bites. Use EPA-registered insect repellents when outdoors that contain one of the following ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs. Cover strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.
  • Choose a hotel or lodging with air conditioning or screens on windows and doors.
  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any item that holds water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, or trash containers. Check inside and outside your home.
  • 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.

More Information

Page last reviewed: March 11, 2020