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Dengue is a fast emerging pandemic-prone viral disease in many parts of the world. Dengue flourishes in urban poor areas, suburbs and the countryside but also affects more affluent neighborhoods in tropical and subtropical countries.

 

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection causing severe flu-like illness and, sometimes causing a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. The incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years. Up to 50-100 million infections are now estimated to occur annually in over 100 endemic countries, putting almost half of the world’s population at risk.

 

Symptoms include high fever, headache, rash and muscle, and joint pain. In severe cases, there is serious bleeding and shock, which can be life-threatening.

 

People may experience:

Pain areas: in the abdomen, back, back of the eyes, bones, joints, or muscles
Whole-body: chills, fatigue, fever, or loss of appetite
Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting
Skin: rashes or red spots
Also common: easy bruising or headache
The rash of dengue fever in the acute stage of the infection blanches when pressed (Credits: Wikipedia)

The rash that commonly forms during the recovery from dengue fever with its classic islands of white in a sea of red. (Credits: Wikipedia)

The virus

The dengue virus (DEN) comprises four distinct serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4) which belong to the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae.

Distinct genotypes have been identified within each serotype, highlighting the extensive genetic variability of the dengue serotypes. Among them, “Asian” genotypes of DEN-2 and DEN-3 are frequently associated with severe disease accompanying secondary dengue infections.

 

The mosquito

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the main vector that transmits the viruses that cause dengue. The viruses are passed on to humans through the bites of an infective female Aedes mosquito, which mainly acquires the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person.

 

Upcoming days, we will help you to learn how to prevent dengue and be safe.

 

Sources: Apollo Hospitals, http://www.who.int, and others.