Dengue is a disease caused by a virus that is transmitted to humans through the bite of a mosquito. There are four different types of this virus (called serotypes), and all four can infect humans.
What are the symptoms of dengue?
An infection with dengue virus becomes apparent through a high fever that can last 4-6 days. Joint aches, pain behind the eyeballs, and skin rashes are commonly observed.
Is there a medicine for dengue?
No. There are no specific medicines against dengue fever, and generally paracetamol is used to suppress the fever. Aspirin should not be used.
Can I be vaccinated against dengue?
No. There is no vaccine available at present, although various experimental vaccines are currently being field-tested.
Can I die of dengue?
In general, people do not die of a dengue infection although they may get very sick and take weeks (sometimes longer) to recover. The problem lies in infections with different serotypes. If an initial infection with one serotype is followed by a second infection with another type, then the disease may progress to so-called dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
What happens after I recover?
You will be immune to the specific type of virus that you were infected with (but not against the other types).
Can dengue come back after I recovered?
Only through the bite of an infected mosquito. If you no longer visit areas where dengue occurs, it will never come back.
How does it spread?
If a person has dengue fever, than for a period of ca. 4 days this person can infect mosquitoes that bite with the virus. The virus will then develop inside the mosquito for 8-10 days, after which the mosquito can infect another person when taking blood. Obviously, the more mosquitoes bite and the more people that carry the virus, the more people will become infected.
Where does dengue occur?
Around the world, in subtropical and tropical regions. Areas heavily affected are central and south-east Asia, central and south America, and the Caribbean.
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