Dengue Express


Zika, understandably, has received a lot of public attention during the past two months, and WiRED has been in the lead on Zika education by way of its training modules. Another illness, dengue fever, which is borne by the same Aedes aegypti mosquito, is also plaguing populations around the world. The World Health Organization estimates dengue fever infects 390 million people each year.


Dengue fever is an infectious disease caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone” fever, because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.


Dengue fever symptoms include headache, high fever, vomiting, and joint pain. Most people recover within two to seven days. A small number, though, can develop a life-threatening condition called dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which can cause dangerous bleeding. DHF can progress into dengue shock syndrome, where a drop in blood pressure can result in death.


So, while Zika deserves our attention for its threats to infants (microcephaly) and adults (Guillain-Barré syndrome), we should also be aware that the same mosquitoes can transmit dengue. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with dengue by reviewing our training module.