What Causes Dengue Fever?

Aedes mosquitoes

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection caused by the dengue virus. It is primarily transmitted to humans through the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes, specifically the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species. These mosquitoes are often found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Here’s how dengue fever is caused:

  1. Transmission: When a female Aedes mosquito feeds on the blood of a person infected with the dengue virus, it becomes infected with the virus.
  2. Virus Replication: The virus replicates within the mosquito’s body over a period of about 8 to 10 days, during which it becomes capable of transmitting the virus to other individuals.
  3. Mosquito Bites: Infected mosquitoes can transmit the virus to humans when they bite. The virus is present in the mosquito’s saliva, and when the mosquito bites a person, it injects saliva containing the virus into the person’s bloodstream.
  4. Human Infection: Once the virus enters a human’s bloodstream, it begins to replicate and spread throughout the body, leading to the development of dengue fever symptoms.
  5. Symptoms: Dengue fever symptoms typically appear 4 to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Common symptoms include high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, and fatigue. In some cases, dengue fever can progress to a more severe form known as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS), which can lead to more serious complications and require medical attention.

It’s important to note that dengue fever cannot be transmitted directly from person to person. The virus requires a mosquito vector to spread from an infected person to a healthy individual. Preventing dengue fever primarily involves controlling mosquito populations and minimizing mosquito bites. This can be achieved through measures such as:

  • Eliminating mosquito breeding sites, such as stagnant water containers.
  • Using mosquito repellents.
  • Wearing protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Installing window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Using mosquito nets when sleeping, especially in areas with high mosquito activity.

Efforts to control the mosquito population and raise awareness about dengue prevention are crucial to reducing the incidence of dengue fever in affected regions.

  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Tags