Dengue (DENG-gey) fever is a mosquito-borne disease that occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Mild dengue fever causes a high fever, rash, and muscle and joint pain. A severe form of dengue fever, also called dengue hemorrhagic fever, can cause severe bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure (shock) and death.
Many people, especially children and teens, may experience no signs or symptoms during a mild case of dengue fever. When symptoms do occur, they usually begin four to seven days after you are bitten by an infected mosquito.
Dengue fever causes a high fever — 104 F degrees — and at least two of the following symptoms:
Signs and symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever or severe dengue — a life-threatening emergency — include:
What Causes Dengue Fever?
Dengue fever is caused by four similar viruses spread by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, which are common in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide.
When an Aedes mosquito bites a person who has been infected with a dengue virus, the mosquito can become a carrier of the virus. If this mosquito bites someone else, that person can be infected with dengue fever. The virus can't spread directly from person to person.
In rare cases, dengue fever can lead to a more serious form of the disease called dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). DHF can be life-threatening and needs to be treated right away.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Dengue Fever?
Dengue fever used to be called "breakbone fever," which might give you an idea of the severe bone and muscle pain it sometimes can cause. The fever isn't actually breaking any bones, but it can sometimes feel like it is.
Symptoms of dengue fever usually appear 4 to 14 days after someone has been infected. Some people infected with the virus won't have any symptoms. Others will have symptoms for 2 to 7 days before getting better.
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