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Dengue Fever: What You Need to Know

Dengue fever and how it is spread by the Aedes mosquito.

What is dengue fever?

Dengue fever is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by certain species of mosquitoes, such as Aedes aegypti, which commonly bites during the day. As many as 400 million people are infected yearly.

How can I beat the mosquito that may carry dengue fever?

The key is to prevent mosquito bites, of course, but also to prevent mosquito breeding. Note that stagnant water is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Clean surroundings and the exterior of your house to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

  • Get rid of old tires where rainwater can accumulate
  • Cover water tanks and cisterns
  • Avoid storing water in vases or always remember to replace the water in vases at least twice a week
  • Remove old bottles and cans
  • Store garden tools
  • Do not leave kids toys outside
  • Empty kiddie pools when not in use and change water at least two times a week
  • Clean gutters
  • Ensure that pets have fresh water in their bowls and change water at least twice a week
  • Install screens on all windows and doors

Where is Dengue most common?

The dengue fever virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. It is endemic in Puerto Rico and in many popular tourist destinations in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific islands.

What are the signs and symptoms?

According to health officials, the most common symptoms are:

  • Fever of around 104°F
  • Weakness/intense fatigue
  • Headache
  • Pain in the body, behind the eyes and joints
  • Red spots on skin

If the sufferer also experiences vomiting, bleeding, intense abdominal pain, cold hands and feet, blue lips, or a drop in pressure, they may have developed dengue haemorrhagic fever. In this case hospital care is necessary.

Always contact your personal physician when in doubt or if you suspect disease.


This is provided for your information only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Should you have any symptoms or concerns, please contact your doctor.

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