Avoid Dengue by Preventing Mosquito Bites

Man applying insect repellent to his arm

 

World map of known and possible risks of dengue

Use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.

Each year, an estimated 400 million people are infected with dengue virus through the bites of infected mosquitoes. About 100 million get sick. Outbreaks have occurred in Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Symptoms of Dengue

The most common symptoms are fever and one or more of the following

  • Headache
  • Eye pain (typically behind the eyes)
  • Muscle, joint, or bone pain
  • Rash
  • Nausea and vomiting

Severe dengue is an emergency. Recognize the warning signs.

  • If you or a family member develops any of these warning signs, go to a local clinic or emergency room immediately:
    • Stomach or belly pain, tenderness
    • Vomiting (at least 3 times in 24 hours)
    • Bleeding from the nose or gums
    • Vomiting blood, or blood in the stool
    • Feeling tired, restless, or irritable

Learn more about dengue symptoms and treatment.

Prevent Dengue: Here’s How

  • No medicine is available to treat dengue.
  • Avoid infection by preventing mosquito bites.
  • The dengue vaccine is ONLY approved for use in children 9–16 years old with laboratory-confirmed evidence of a previous dengue virus infection and living in areas of the United States where dengue is common (U.S. territories of American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the freely associated states, including the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau).

Use insect repellent

Graphic illustration of a bottle of insect repellent.

Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents external iconwith one of the active ingredients below.

  • DEET
  • Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
  • IR3535
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
  • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone

Find the right insect repellent for you by using EPA’s search tool external icon.

Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants

Graphic illustration of clothing being sprayed with permethrin
  • Treat items, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents, with 0.5% permethrin or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.

Learn how to prevent mosquito bites.

Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home

  • Graphic illustration of a house highlighting the screen on the front door.

    Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers. Check inside and outside your home. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.

Learn how to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home >>

Planning a Trip? Do Your Homework Before Traveling

  • graphic image of a doctor taking care of a sick boy.

    Pack a travel health kit. Remember insect repellent and use it to prevent mosquito bites.

  • Learn about destination-specific health risks and recommendations by visiting CDC Travelers’ Health website.
  • See a healthcare provider familiar with travel medicine, ideally 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Go to the Find a Clinic webpage for help in finding a travel medicine clinic near you.
  • After your trip, visit your healthcare provider right away if you develop a fever, headache, rash, muscle or joint pain.

More Information