What Is Dengue?

By katherine
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. Ratini, M. (2019, June 28). 'Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments.' Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dengue-fever-reference.
  • 2. “Dengue.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 July 2020, www.cdc.gov/dengue/index.html.
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Dengue, which is pronounced “DENG-gey,” is a mosquito-borne illness that causes rash, high fever and muscle and joint pain. In more severe cases, the disease can cause hemorrhaging, abdominal pain, a sudden drop in blood pressure resulting in shock and in the most severe cases, death.

One of four closely related viruses causes dengue fever. These viruses — the dengue viruses — also happen to be associated with those that cause yellow fever and West Nile infection. Outbreaks are occurring in many parts of the world, but some areas are more prone to it than other regions.

1. What Are the Symptoms of Dengue Fever?

Signs of dengue fall into two categories: mild and severe. Mild symptoms closely resemble those of other, non-severe illnesses and may include fever, rash, aches and pains. In some cases, an infected person may develop nausea or vomiting. Symptoms typically last for two to seven days.

One in 20 people who contract dengue will develop a severe case. Indications of severe dengue include abdominal pain, vomiting, vomiting up blood, fatigue, irritability and bleeding of the nose and gums. These manifestations typically develop 24-48 hours after the fever subsides, though they can come on quickly. Severe dengue can be life-threatening.


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