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  • Dengue virus is spread to people through the bite if infected Aedes species of mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus). 
  • Almost half of the world's population (about 4 billion people) live in areas at risk for dengue.
  • Every year, approximately 390 million people are infected with dengue viruses.
  • Almost all reported cases in the United States are travel associated.  
  • The majority of individuals infected with dengue develop mild symptoms or none at all, however, severe forms of the disease can be fatal.
  • Treatment consists of supportive care.
  • Prevent dengue by avoiding mosquito bites.   
  • Who is at risk for infection with dengue virus?

    • Anyone who travels to a tropical or subtropical region of the world, where dengue virus is found, is at risk for contracting dengue. 
    • Typically younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness than older children and adults.    
    • If you are sick with dengue, during the first week of infection, dengue virus can be found in your blood.  If a mosquito bites you during that time, it can become infected and then spread the virus to other people through bites. 
    • In order to help prevent others from developing dengue, protect yourself from mosquito bites during the first week of illness--this involves resting in a screened or air-conditioned room or under a bed net while you have a fever.
    • Dengue is common in the US territories of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
    • Nearly all dengue cases reported in the 48 contiguous US states occurred in travelers infected elsewhere.
    • Dengue outbreaks occasionally occur in the continental United States, most recently in Hawaii (2015), Florida (2013, 2020), and Texas (2013).







    What are the signs and symptoms of dengue?

    • Approximately 1 in 4 people infected with dengue virus will get sick. 
    • Symptoms of dengue can range from mild to severe.
    • The most common symptoms include fever and one or more of the following:
      • severe headache
      • eye pain (typically behind the eyes)
      • muscle, joint, or bone pain
      • rash or unusual bleeding (nose or gums bleed, small red spots under the skin, or unusual bruising). 
    • Symptoms typically begin 4-7 days after the mosquito bite and last for approximately 2-7 days. 

    What are the signs of symptoms of severe dengue disease?

    • About 1 in 20 people who get sick with dengue will develop severe dengue.
    • If you have had dengue in the past, you are more likely to develop severe dengue.
    • Infants and pregnant women are at high risk of developing severe dengue.
    • The more severe forms of the disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS), are characterized by a fever that lasts from 2 to 7 days, with one or more of the symptoms listed above. However, when the fever declines, the patient develops one or more of the following warning signs:
    • severe abdominal pain
    • persistent vomiting (at least 3 times in 24 hours)
    • red spots or patches on the skin
    • bleeding from the nose or gums
    • vomiting blood or bloody or black/tarry stools
    • drowsiness or irritability
    • pale/cold/clammy skin, and/or difficulty breathing
    • Severe dengue is a medical emergency. If any of these warning signs develop, go immediately to the emergency room.

    How is dengue diagnosed?

    • See your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of dengue and live or have recently traveled to an area with risk of dengue.
    • Dengue is diagnosed based on clinical signs and symptoms, travel history, and using blood tests. 
    • Your healthcare provider may also look for other similar viruses, such as Zika or chikungunya.



    What is the treatment for dengue?

    • There is no specific treatment for dengue.
    • Supportive care is recommended including pain relievers, rest, fluids, and avoiding mosquito bites while febrile.
    • Infected individuals should NOT use pain relievers that contain ibuprofen, Naproxen, or aspirin. 
    • Severe dengue is a medical emergency.  If symptoms worsen, go to an emergency room immediately.



    How can I prevent dengue?

    • There are now vaccines available to prevent to dengue virus in children ages 9-16 years who have previously had laboratory-confirmed dengue virus and live in areas where dengue is common.
    • The vaccine is not approved for use in U.S. travelers who are visiting but not living in an area where dengue is common.
    • The best prevention methods include avoiding mosquito bites.
    • The mosquitoes that spread dengue are typically active and bite during the day.
    • It is recommended to use insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.
    • In addition, use air conditioning or window/door screens and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or permethrin-treated clothing.
    • Use bed nets when traveling overseas and sleeping outdoors or in a room that does not have screens.
    • In order to help prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yard, once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, or trash containers.


  • For people sick with dengue

    Prevent mosquito bites in the U.S.

    Mosquito bite prevention for travelers

    Control Mosquitoes Outside Your Home

    Information for Healthcare Providers