Dengue fever


What are the symptoms of dengue fever?

Infection with the dengue virus can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it may lead to severe dengue or dengue shock syndrome, which can be fatal.

In general most cases are asymptomatic (meaning that people do not show symptoms).

But for those with symptoms, initial symptoms typically develop 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. However, it may take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear.

Symptoms usually include:

  • fever
  • severe headache
  • pain behind the eyes
  • muscle and joint pain
  • rash

In some cases, the disease may progress to severe dengue and dengue shock syndrome. Symptoms of these more serious infections include:

  • bruising and mild bleeding (such as from the nose or gums)
  • persistent vomiting
  • severe abdominal pain
  • difficulty breathing

Most people who get infected with dengue virus are able to recover. However, about 2.5% of people who progress to severe dengue and dengue shock syndrome will die.

What to do if you become ill

Call a health care provider immediately:

  • if you or anyone in your household has travelled to an area with a risk of dengue fever, and
  • you are showing some of the above symptoms.

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