Destroying Dengue

By: Chloe Gretter

What is Dengue?

Dengue Fever originated from monkeys, but is spread by mosquitoes. It causes severe muscle and joint pain, but is usually not fatal. Dengue occurs in more tropical and humid places. Dengue is one pf the four Dengue Fevers.

Where is Dengue?

Since the mosquitoes that infect you with Dengue like warmer weather, Dengue is in warmer weather. Mosquitoes prefer to breed in a humid, tropical, warm climate. So places like, Latin America, Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands have a lot of Dengue.
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Symptoms of Dengue

Dengue is known for its joint and muscle, that's why it is commonly called Break bone Fever. Along with those here are some more symptoms; fever, headaches, eye pain, whole body rash,nausea, abdominal pain and bleeding from eyes and mouth. The organs affected by Dengue are the heart, lungs, and liver.

Vaccine and Medicine

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available. Scientists have made six vaccines, but there are not ready for trials. Because there is four types of Dengue, the vaccine must immunize against all of them. The problem is, there is no cross connection between any of the Dengue Viruses. Another setback is the lack of infected animals too test on. scientist have no infected being to research and test on.

Protect yourself from Dengue

With no vaccine or medication, it is important that you are cautious in tropical places. Always bring plenty of mosquito spray and nets.

Facts of Dengue

Did you that over 40% of the earth is at risk of getting Dengue? Luckily, Dengue is usually not fatal. Out of the 50-100 million cases each year, 22,000 die from it. Outbreaks of Dengue occur often. In 2001, Hawaii had a minor outbreak of 122 cases. That same year, Southeast Asia had a major epidemic with 400,000 cases! As for now, Brazil still has the most reported cases of Dengue, with a whooping 3.2 million cases.

The Vector and Transmission

Dengue is spread by the bite of a mosquito. When an infected mosquito bites you, Dengue Fever gets into your blood. Now let's talk about the mosquito. The Female Tiger Mosquito is the most common vector for Dengue. They breed by humid, warm areas with plenty of water, so cases of Dengue increase during monsoon season. They also breed in calm water, so places with lots of flat water tend to have more Dengue.

The Eliminate Dengue Program

This program was founded in 2012, and the research began in 2008 at University of Australia. This program is planning to release "good" mosquitoes to help fight Dengue. Tjis program was started by Dr. O'Neil and is lead by Luciano Moriea in Brazil.

Wolbachia in Bugs

How can mosquitoes be good? Scientists recently discovered Wolbachia in over 3 million species! Wolbachia is a bacterium that immunizes against the host insect to all four types of Dengue. So, if the mosquitoes have no Dengue, people wont have dengue.

Dengue and Wolbachia

How is Wolbachia going to stop Dengue? Since Wolbachia immunizes against Dengue, it acts as an animal vaccine. If the female mosquito has Wolbachia, then her off-springs will have Wolbachia and be immune to Dengue. Within a few years, almost all of the mosquitoes will have Wolbachia, and Dengue will be almost gone.

Where is Eliminate Dengue Program

The Eliminate Dengue Program is currently taking place in Brazil, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Tubicanga, and Rio. The program started releasing lab- raised mosquitoes in 2012, and over four months they release 10,000 mosquitoes.

Wolbachia and the Environment

Wolbachia is completely safe. Since Wolbachia is a natural bacterium, which means it causes no harm to humans or our world. The only reason that doctors don't use it as a vaccine is, the Wolbachia cells are too large to go down our salivary gland ducts. So, even if you get bite by a Wolbachia mosquito, you wont tell a difference from a regular mosquito.

The Price of the Program

The Eliminate Dengue is very pricey. Dr. O'Neil has collected over 40 million dollars from all over the world to help stop Dengue. Dr. O'Neil came up with the program in 2005, but it took three years to start up research in 2008. Then a whole four years later, they finally put Dr. O'Neil's plan into action, in 2012.


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