Dengue fact sheet

Dengue Fever

What is dengue?
Dengue (den-gee) is a viral disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are four types of
dengue viruses, and the disease occurs in most tropical areas of the world. Most United States cases occur
in travelers returning from abroad. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a more severe form of dengue.

Who gets dengue?
Anyone can get infected with dengue when traveling to areas where mosquitoes carry the disease. The
virus can affect anyone bitten by an infected mosquito. Dengue is not passed from person to person.

Where is dengue?
The disease occurs mostly in tropical and subtropical areas, including the Caribbean, Central and South
America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
What are the symptoms of dengue?
Symptoms usually occur within four to seven days after getting bitten by an infected mosquito and may
• Nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, and loss of appetite are also common Younger children have a milder illness than older children and adults. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a
more severe form of the disease and includes a fever that lasts from two to seven days. Skin bruises easily
and blood vessels may leak, causing bleeding from the nose, mouth and gums.

How is dengue diagnosed?
If a health care provider suspects dengue, they will observe the patient’s symptoms and examine samples
of the patient’s blood.

What is the treatment for dengue?
There is no specific medication for the treatment of dengue. People with dengue should rest and drink
plenty of fluids and consult a physician. If dengue is suspected use pain relievers with acetaminophen and
avoid those with aspirin.

How can dengue be prevented?
Since most cases of dengue in New Jersey come from people who have traveled to areas where the disease
is present, the best way to prevent dengue is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes when traveling in areas
with high rates of the disease. There is no vaccine to prevent dengue.
Follow these steps to reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:
• Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors at dusk or dawn when • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those with DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. These products can be used on skin or clothing. Choose a product that provides protection for the amount of time spent outdoors. Permethrin is another type of insect repellent. It can only be used on clothing. ALWAYS follow the directions on the product label. • Sleep in screened-in areas or under protective nets. Mosquitoes begin to breed in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days. Get rid of mosquito breeding sites around the home. • Drain standing water from pool covers and ditches • Remove all containers that hold water • Maintain pools, spas and saunas properly • Change birdbath water every several days • Make sure all windows and doors have screens and that all screens are in good condition.
Where can I get more information on dengue?

• New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a health care professional.


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