Dengue Fever: Facts, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

What is Dengue fever? Let us learn about dengue fever causes, symptoms, and signs and the medications used in treatment.

Dengue Fever: Facts, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Dengue Fever: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Dengue (pronounced DENgee) fever, which is also known as breakbone fever, is a mosquito-borne illness that can lead to severe flu-like disease. This dengue disease is caused by four different viruses and multiplies by Aedes mosquitoes.

There are currently no vaccines. The best way to prevent this disease is to avoid mosquito bites. The treatment of dengue is possible if a diagnosis occurs before the patient develops DSS or DHF.

All about Dengue fever

Every year an estimated 400 million dengue infections occur worldwide, with about 96 million resulting in sickness. Most cases of dengue occur in tropical areas of the world, with the greatest risk occurring in:

  • The Indian subcontinent
  • Southeast Asia
  • Southern China
  • Taiwan
  • The Pacific Islands
  • The Caribbean
  • Mexico
  • Africa
  • Central and South America

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

The symptoms of dengue differ depending on the severity of the illness.

Mild dengue fever

Its symptoms can appear up to 7 days after being bitten by the infected mosquito that carries the virus.

They include:

  • aching muscles and joints
  • body rash
  • high fever
  • intense headache
  • pain behind the eyes
  • vomiting and feeling nauseous

Dengue fever symptoms generally disappear after a week, and mild dengue rarely involves serious or fatal complications.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever

At first, symptoms of Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) may be mild, but they gradually worsen within a few days. As well as mild dengue symptoms, there may be signs of internal bleeding sometime.

A person with Dengue hemorrhagic fever may experience:

  • bleeding from the mouth, gums, or nose
  • clammy skin
  • damage to lymph and blood vessels
  • internal bleeding, which can lead to black vomit and feces, or stools
  • a lower number of platelets in the blood
  • sensitive stomach
  • small blood spots under the skin
  • weak pulse

Without prompt treatment, DHF can be fatal.

Dengue shock syndrome

Dengue shock syndrome (DSS) is a severe form of dengue fever. It can be fatal.

Apart from symptoms of mild dengue fever, the person may experience:

  • intense stomach pain
  • disorientation
  • sudden hypotension, or a fast drop in blood pressure
  • heavy bleeding
  • regular vomiting
  • blood vessels leaking fluid

Without treatment, this can result in death.


Dengue fever is caused by any one of four types of dengue viruses spread by mosquitoes that thrive in and near human lodgings. When a mosquito bites a person infected with a dengue virus, the virus enters the mosquito. When the infected mosquito then bites another person, the virus enters that person's bloodstream.


  • There is no specific medication to treat dengue.
  • Treat the symptoms of dengue and see your healthcare provider.