Dengue Fever

By Stella Warren


Dengue Fever is a mosquito-borne disease. It has a long history and has caused millions of deaths all around the world. Dengue fever is comprised of four different diseases that join to form this one disease.


The dengue virus comes from infected mosquitos that bite humans. The human will then be affected by the virus. If you get the virus, the virus is not immune to your body which means you are more likely to get it again.


If you think you are someone that may have the disease, here are the symptoms:

  • Fever up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Headache
  • Muscle, bone, and joint pain
  • Pain behind eyes
  • Wide spread rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sometimes there will be bleeding from your gums and nose
  • Low on white blood cells

Risk Factors

Living or visiting tropical areas may put you at high risk for contracting dengue fever. Being around people that have or had the virus can also increase your chances.


Having the dengue virus may effect your lungs, liver, heart, and it may decrease blood pressure to dangerous levels. In bad cases, all of these organs will be affected and cause major health problems or even death.

Location and Climate

Dengue fever appears in tropical and poor countries all over the world. Dengue fever is rapidly growing throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The United States is the main research country, but certainty not the only one. Most populated places with dengue fever is southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Over the last 50 years, the average air temperatures in these regions has gone up. In addition, the sea levels have increased and preparation patterns increased. Temperature averages have been going up in these regions since 1850.


The first reported case of dengue fever was in 1635, and the next year that it was reported was in 1780. In the early 1800's cases were identified in Africa, Asia, South and Central America, Guadeloupe, and some cases in Europe and North America. In the 1960s is when a lot of people started to become infected. In 1979, specialist thought that they had enough medicine to threat the virus. Currently, there is a shortage of medicine to treat the virus.


About 400 million people contract dengue fever around the world. There has been about 3 million reported deaths. 40% of the world or 2.5 billion people live in areas where they could be at risk of getting the disease. Over 100 countries are effected by dengue fever. $250 million dollars have been spent on research and medicine over the past ten years.

Dengue Branch

The Dengue Branch is in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They provide global leadership in dengue risk assessment. For over 30 years, the branch has reported cases in Puerto Rico. Many lab tables are used in the process of trying to find a cure. They are focused on understanding the basics, new technology, providing training and health care, and piloting mosquito control.

Age and Gender

Dengue fever equally affects males and females. If you are older or over weight, it might increase your chances of getting dengue fever. Any other health problems may also increase chances.

Dengue in the United States

Dengue fever spread to the United States between 1999 or 2000. Most common places in the United States are by the border of Mexico or by the coasts. It was brought over by someone visiting an affected country. The states that have it are Hawaii, Texas, and Florida. Once someone gets it they usually do not get it again.


Mosquitos live in moist places like soil and wet bark from trees. They must have water and food to survive. Blood feeding does not start until days after having hatched from their larvae. They lay one egg at a time in damp soil. Adults stay on surfaces of the water. Females live for several months, but males only live for up to one week.

Getting Dengue More Than Once

Although the chances are small, you can get dengue fever multiple times. People rarely get all four viruses. Each dengue strain is unique and it is never the exact same infection. Contracting dengue fever does not provides immunity to the rest of your body after getting it one time.

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is a more severe case of dengue fever. There are more stages that tend to be more severe. During stage one, it could last as long as seven days. Stage two, the patient begins to bleed. In stage three, the circulatory system starts to fail and may cause health problems or even death.
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Diagnosing dengue fever can be difficult. It is often confused with other diseases. Doctors will ask for travel histories and any other problems that one may be experiencing. Patients go through multiple tests and blood work before doctors can tell what disease it is.


Six different vaccines are in development for dengue fever. The furthest development is a three-dose vaccine for children. Those who chose to get the vaccine may still be effected. Although it is not yet proven to be effective, it is still safe to take.


Doctors are working on six different vaccines. When traveling to affected area, it is advised to stay inside, wear protective clothing, and stay away from others that may be infected.


Dengue fever has no specific treatment. Drinking plenty of fluids may help decrease symptoms and duration. Taking antibiotics may reduce pain, fever, and bleeding. Consult with a physician if you think that you or someone you know has dengue fever. Infected people may need to be hospitalized for close monitoring of symptoms; including blood pressure.

Stop Dengue

With all the advancements in technology and medicine, a cure for dengue fever is possible.


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