Dengue fever


Carola Felchner

Carola Felchner is a freelance author at lifelikeinc.com and a certified exercise and nutritionist. She worked at various trade magazines and online portals before becoming self-employed in 2015 as a journalist. Before her traineeship, she studied translating and interpreting in Kempten and Munich.

More about the lifelikeinc.com experts Dengue fever is a tropical viral disease. It is transmitted by a certain species of mosquito, the diurnal Aedes mosquito. Dengue fever manifests itself in greatly increased temperature, headache and body aches. Most people recover recover within a few days. Dengue fever can also lead to serious complications or even death. Find out in which regions the tropical disease occurs, how to avoid infection and how dengue fever is treated.

Article overview dengue fever

  • Contagion routes & occurrences
  • symptoms
  • treatment
  • Prevent
  • Examinations & Diagnosis
  • History & Forecast

Quick Overview

  • What is dengue fever? A virus infection transmitted by the Aedes mosquito.
  • Occurrence: mainly in tropical and subtropical countries, but also (occasionally) in Europe.
  • symptoms: sometimes no, otherwise typically flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache and body aches); in complications u. a. Blood clotting disorders, vomiting, drop in blood pressure, restlessness, drowsiness
  • Treatment: symptomatic with fluid intake and pain and fever; in case of complications inpatient intensive care
  • Forecast: usually benign course, in children and / or secondary infections increased risk of complications
  • Prevention: Avoid mosquito bites (long clothes, mosquito net, mosquito repellent etc.)
To the table of contents

Dengue fever: infection pathways and occurrence

Dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus, which occurs in four different variants (serotypes): DENV 1-4. All are from the Aedes mosquito transmitted: most commonly by the yellow fever or tiger mosquito (Aedes aegypti or Stegomyia aegytpi), sometimes by the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes or Stegomyia albopictus).

This is how the dengue fever is transmittedDengue fever can only be transmitted to humans by Aedes mosquitoes. Such animal carriers are called "vectors".

These mosquitoes are found mainly in urban environments or in human populated areas. They prefer to lay their eggs near water (bottles, rain barrels, buckets, etc.). If females are infected, they can transmit the virus directly to the brood. The female mosquitoes are also the ones who pass on the disease to humans. People can not be infected with each other - they serve the mosquito only as a reservoir, so as a habitat, from where they carry the virus.

Unlike flu viruses, dengue viruses are not found in the human mucosa or saliva. Dengue fever can not be transmitted by sneezing, coughing or kissing.

Occurrence of dengue fever

In Germany, the Aedes mosquito is not native because it requires at least ten degrees Celsius for wintering. At most, in the warm months, it can penetrate far into otherwise Aedes mosquito-free regions. However, global warming will allow mosquitoes to expand their habitat, experts say.

So far, if someone in this country gets the dengue fever, he has generally been infected with a stay in tropical-subtropical foreign countries. For example, in 2017, there were five cases of dengue fever in Germany after stays in Egypt.

As Germans like to travel more and more, the number of dengue fever cases that have been introduced has risen sharply in recent years. In 2015, more than 700 people in Germany were treated for dengue fever. According to the data of the infection protection law (IfSG), the most common infection countries were:

  • Thailand: 29 percent
  • Indonesia: 16 percent
  • Brazil: 7 percent
  • India: 6 percent
  • Cuba, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Cambodia: 3 percent each
  • Others: 24 percent

Overall, dengue fever occurs in more than 100 tropical and subtropical countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, Latin America, parts of Africa, and the Western Pacific.

Dengue fever is a notifiable disease in Germany. This means that the attending physician must tell the health department in each case. This measure should help to recognize larger outbreaks as quickly as possible and to be able to take countermeasures.

Dengue fever: illnesses are increasing

Dengue fever has become very common in recent decades. In the last 50 years, the number of infected people has multiplied thirtyfold. Experts estimate that around 400 million people worldwide contract the dengue virus each year. This makes dengue fever the most mosquito-borne disease in the world.

In the meantime, it has already been discovered in Europe: For example, in October 2012, there was an outbreak of dengue fever on Madeira, a popular Portuguese holiday island off the coast of Africa. Also on Fuerteventura, in Croatia, Greece and France, the virus was already (locally) on.