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WHAT IS DENGUE FEVER?Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and 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. Health experts have known about dengue fever for more than 200 years.Dengue fever is found mostly during and shortly after the rainy season in tropical and subtropical areas of * Africa * Southeast Asia and China * India * Middle East * Caribbean and Central and South America * Australia and the South and Central PacificAn epidemic in Hawaii in 2001 is a reminder that many states in the United States are susceptible to dengue epidemics because they harbor the particular types of mosquitoes that transmit it.
The World Health Organization estimates 50 million cases of dengue infection occur each year. This includes 100 to 200 cases reported annually to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mostly in people who have recently traveled abroad.
From 1977 to 1994, U.S. health care workers reported to CDC 2,248 cases of dengue that had been imported into this country. Many more cases probably go unreported because some doctors do not recognize the disease.During the last part of the 20th century, cases of dengue began to increase in many tropical regions of the world. Epidemics also began to occur more frequently, and to be more severe. In addition to typical dengue, a severe influenza-like disease-dengue hemorrhagic fever-also has been increasing in many parts of the world.HOW IS DENGUE FEVER TRANSMITTED?People get dengue virus infections from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite infected humans, and later transmit infection to other people they bite. The two main species of mosquito, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, have been responsible for all cases of dengue transmitted in this country.WHAT KIND OF VIRUS CAUSES DENGUE.
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