What is Dengue Fever?

What is Dengue Fever?

 

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Dengue is a viral infection spread by mosquitoes. It’s widespread in many parts of the world. In most people the infection is mild and passes in about a week without causing any lasting problems. But in rare cases it can be very serious and potentially life threatening.

There’s no specific treatment or widely available vaccine for dengue, so it’s important to try to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes when visiting an area where¬†the infection¬†is found.

Four closely related viruses cause dengue fever. The viruses are transmitted fromAedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes to humans in a viral life cycle that requires both humans and these mosquitoes. There is no human-to-human dengue fever transmission. The viruses belong to the Flaviviridae family and have an RNA strand as its genetic makeup. Virologists term them dengue virus types 1-4 (DENV 1-4). All four serotypes are closely related. However, there are enough antigenic differences between them that if a person becomes immune to one serotype, the person can still be infected by the other three serotypes The best way to prevent dengue fever is to prevent the bites from infected mosquitoes.

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