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Dengue is an infection caused by a virus. You can get it if an infected mosquito bites you. Dengue does not spread from person to person. It is common in warm, wet areas of the world. Outbreaks occur in the rainy season. Dengue is rare in the United States.
Symptoms include a high fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain, vomiting, and a rash. In some cases, dengue turns into dengue hemorrhagic fever, which causes bleeding from your nose, gums, or under your skin. It can also become dengue shock syndrome, which causes massive bleeding and shock. These forms of dengue are life-threatening.
There is no specific treatment. Most people with dengue recover within 2 weeks. Until then, drinking lots of fluids, resting and taking non-aspirin fever-reducing medicines might help. People with the more severe forms of dengue usually need to go to the hospital and get fluids.
To lower your risk when traveling to areas where dengue is found
- Wear insect repellent with DEET
- Wear clothes that cover your arms, legs and feet
- Close unscreened doors and windows
- Symptoms and What To Do If You Think You Have Dengue (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Dengue Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Find the Repellent that is Right for You (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Help Control Mosquitoes that Spread Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika Viruses (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Protect against Mosquito Bites when Traveling (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in Spanish
Treatments and Therapies
- Dengue Fever Treatment (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
Statistics and Research
- Dengue Epidemiology (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Dengue (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Caring for a Child or Family Member Sick with Dengue (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)