Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program

Vector-borne Diseases

Dengue Information

Dengue fever is a disease caused by one of four related viruses transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.  The disease can have severe manifestations, including dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).  Dengue is a leading cause of illness and death in tropical and subtropical areas.  Symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash and mild bleeding.  DHF is a severe form of dengue fever manifesting with the classical symptoms of dengue, but the patient may also develop vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing and leaky blood vessels.  This may lead to failure of the circulatory system and shock, followed by death.  There is no specific medication for treatment of dengue fever, but supportive treatments are available.

The majority of dengue infections in the US are acquired elsewhere by travelers or immigrants, however there have been outbreaks of dengue in Hawaii, Texas, and Florida.  Dengue is endemic in at least 100 countries in Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa and the Caribbean.

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