Keeping an Eye on Dengue Fever




he Zika virus headlines the news today, but dengue fever is viewed by many as a greater threat to the global population. The overall incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades with half of the world's population now at risk.


"For the majority of the population in Brazil, dengue is more of a problem than Zika."
— Anna Durbin, M.D.

Dengue fever is an infectious disease known to health experts for more than 200 years. It is caused by four related viruses that are spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes — yes, the Zika mosquitoes. These mosquitoes thrive in and near human habitations, where they breed in even the cleanest water. Dengue used to be called “break bone fever,” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels as if bones are breaking.


WiRED offers a dengue education module for health professionals and an Express module for grassroots audiences. The modules examine dengue fever and explain how the illness is spread, its symptoms, diagnoses, treatments and measures of prevention.


WiRED Mosquito Web Page — Coming Soon!

In order to emphasize the impact of mosquitoes on human health, WiRED will soon launch a web page devoted to mosquitoes. The page will include graphics, summary information, prevention, treatment and interesting facts as well as a list of relevant WiRED modules.

ThinkProgress described the health risks of dengue in Brazil — an example that puts the global spread of the disease into perspective. “For the majority of the population in Brazil, dengue is more of a problem than Zika,” said Anna Durbin, M.D., a professor and vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University’s Department of International Health. This year in Brazil, there have been 4,771 reported cases of Zika — compared to 1,244,583 cases of dengue. Durbin said it’s the most widespread dengue outbreak she’s seen in her 17 years studying the disease.


WiRED International continues to monitor dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, malaria, yellow fever and chikungunya. We believe education is the best defense people have against these debilitating and deadly diseases.





Sample Questions from WiRED’s Dengue Fever Modules


1. Dengue fever can be spread directly from person to person.


2. A patient with dengue infection should take ______________ to alleviate pain and reduce fever.

 Anti-inflammatory drugs

3. Deaths from dengue virus infections occur mainly in which group of people?

 Pregnant women

4. What typically causes the more severe form of the disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever?

 Infection a second time
 Infection in persons with asthma
 Infection during pregnancy
 Infection by DEN-1





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