Dengue is a virus, spread to humans through the bite of an infected female Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito.
Dengue is not transmitted directly from human-to-human. Once a mosquito becomes infected with the Dengue virus, it is infected for life, and will continue to spread the disease with each bite.
Dengue or Dengue Fever is a serious vector-borne illness, that can often be life-threatening. It is characterized by high fever, headache, rash, back and bone pain. While Dengue Fever (DF) may manifest with flu-like symptoms, it is also known as “breakbone fever” due to the intensive pain in joints and bones. Mild cases involve a nonspecific febrile illness. Moderate cases display high fever, severe headaches, muscle and joint pains, and rash.
Severe cases develop into Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF), which involves high fever, abdominal pain, hemorrhaging (bleeding), and at times circulatory failure. This complicated, often deadly form of Dengue can cause severe bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure (shock) and death. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is synonymous with Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS).
Dengue has been impacting populations around the world for centuries. Contemporary researchers classify the disease into four serotypes: DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4 which vary in prevalence per country and region. Recently, medical researchers at the University of Texas discovered a fifth serotype, now referred to as DENV-5.
Mosquitos Pictured above: Aedes albopictus or "Tiger Mosquito" (sample left) and Aedes aegypti (sample right)