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.
- Dengue virus is primarily spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.
- 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. Do your homework before traveling. 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.
- 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.
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants. If you have an infant, use mosquito netting to cover your child’s crib, stroller, and baby carrier.
- 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.
- Page last reviewed: March 3, 2016
- Page last updated: March 3, 2016
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