Dengue (DEN-gey) fever is caused by the dengue virus, transmitted by female Aedes mosquitoes. It is common in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. These dengue mosquitoes thrive in and around human habitats and usually bite during daytime. 

Every year nearly 400 million people get infected with dengue fever all over the world. Since one of the four dengue viruses, 1,2,3,4 can be one of the causes of dengue fever; this virus can infect an individual as many as four times in a lifetime. 

Causes of Dengue

Though the primary causative agent of Dengue is female Aedes mosquitoes, there are other ways through which it transmits. 

  • Mosquito Bites - The mosquitoes generally lay eggs in standing water like in buckets, containers, vases, flower pots, etc. They bite an infected person with dengue fever and get infected. When that infected mosquito bites another healthy person, he/she gets infected. This is how the disease is transmitted from person to person through mosquito bites. 

  • Mother to Child - If a pregnant woman gets infected with dengue virus, she can pass the virus to her foetus during pregnancy. Till date, only one report is documented that dengue virus can transmit through breastfeeding. 

  • Other Sources - Apart from that, it can spread through organ transplant, blood transfusion, etc. 

These are the most common causes of dengue fever. 

Symptoms of Dengue

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Fig: Dengue symptoms

About one in four dengue virus-infected people gets sick. The signs and symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Severe dengue fever or dengue haemorrhagic fever can be life-threatening, and the patients need to be hospitalised immediately. The common symptom is high fever along with the following

  • Rash.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Severe joint and muscle pain and abdominal pain.

  • Bleeding from nose and gums.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Blood in stool, urine and vomit.

  • Difficulty in breathing.

  • Clammy or cold skin (shock).

  • Restlessness and sudden fall in blood pressure. 

  • Swollen glands. 

These symptoms usually persist for 2-7 days. Then the patients typically recover within a week. 

Dengue Treatment

Till date, there is no vaccine or medicine that has been developed. But for patients with mild symptoms can 

  • Rest as much as possible.

  • Drink lots of fluid (water, drinks with electrolytes) for extra hydration.

  • Take paracetamol to relieve pain or control fever. 

For a severe condition, the patients need to seek hospitalisation and may require blood transfusion or intravenous fluid supplementation. 

Dengue Prevention 

 Only the preventive measures of Dengue can effectively safeguard thousands of people against this disease. 

Infected people should stay in isolation and indoors until all the symptoms subside (3-5 days). Apart from that, the following guidelines need to be maintained to remain safe. 

  • One of the valid dengue reasons includes water logging. These mosquitoes typically lay eggs and breed in clean stagnant water. Therefore, get rid of all nearby standing water sources. Also, change the water of flower vases daily. 

  • Try to stay at well-screened houses and keep all the doors and windows shut especially during dawn, dusk and night as well. The Aedes mosquitoes can bite during both daytime and night too. 

  • Use mosquito repellents containing at least 10 percent concentration of DEET throughout the day. Also, use mosquito nets while sleeping.  

  • Wear long-sleeved pants, shirts etc. when you have to travel to mosquito-infested areas. 

  • Daily remove the garbage and waste and keep your surroundings clean. 

Once you know about the causes of Dengue, take protection accordingly to fight against dengue viruses. 

Now, it’s time for a quick quiz on Dengue!

  1. Bleeding in dengue causes a decrease in _________________ level. 

  2. Antibiotics can cure dengue fever. True/False

Answers: 1- Platelet. 2- False. 

For further information regarding the causative organism of dengue fever, stay tuned to Vedantu’s app! Also, go through the rest of the study materials available on our website to master other chapters of Biology.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How Dengue is Caused?

Ans. Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease. Any one of the four dengue viruses causes this fever. 

2. What is the First Sign of Dengue Fever?

Ans. The first sign of dengue fever includes high fever along with severe muscle and joint pain. 

3. How Long Does it Take to Recover from Dengue?

Ans. Dengue fever generally lasts from 2-7 days. It takes about a week to recover from Dengue.