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Dengue virus

Dengue fever is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the Aedes genus, principally A. aegypti. The virus has four different types; infection with one type usually gives lifelong immunity to that type, but only short-term immunity to the others. Subsequent infection with a different type increases the risk of severe complications. As there is no vaccine, prevention is sought by reducing the habitat and the number of mosquitoes and limiting exposure to bites. Treatment of acute dengue is supportive, using either oral or intravenous rehydration for mild or moderate disease, and intravenous fluids and blood transfusion for more severe cases. The incidence of dengue fever has increased dramatically since the 1960s, with around 50–100 million people infected yearly. Early descriptions of the condition date from 1779, and its viral cause and the transmission were elucidated in the early 20th century. Dengue has become a worldwide problem since the Second World War and is endemic in more than 110 countries. (more...)

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