Dengue infection is caused by the dengue virus that belongs to the family Flaviviridae. It is generally self-limiting and rarely fatal.
There are 4 serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, DEN-4). Infection with dengue serotype confers lifetime protective immunity to that specific serotype; cross-protection for other serotypes is only short-term.
It is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes. It is primarily transmitted by female Aedes aegypti, a tropical and subtropical species. Humans and monkeys are the amplifying hosts after the mosquito bite.
After 4-10 days of incubation period, illness begins immediately.
The acute phase of illness lasts for 3-7 days, but the convalescent phase may be prolonged for a week and may be associated with weakness and depression especially in adults.
Certain signs such as low platelet counts and serum albumin levels, and symptoms like vomiting and abdominal pain during the early, febrile phase of dengue may predict progression to severe disease, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.
A novel smartphone-based diagnostic device
shows promise for rapid and low-cost detection of Zika, dengue and chikungunya
viruses, and may particularly be useful as a a
point-of-care assay in resource-limited areas.
Dengue patients aged 60 years and above or those with multiple comorbidities particularly diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and asthma, have an elevated risk for severe organ involvement, according to a Singapore study.
Associate Professor Ng Lee Ching, Director of the Environmental Health Institute (EHI) at the National Environment Agency (NEA), Singapore, speaks about the role of primary care physicians and government agencies in preventing dengue epidemics.
Dengvaxia, a recombinant, live-attenuated dengue vaccine, has the potential to bring down the number of hospitalizations by 13 to 25 percent and be cost-effective in areas of moderate-to-high dengue endemicity, according to a model comparison study.
Invasive fungal infections, particularly those caused by Candida species, are common in hospitalized, immunocompromised, or critically ill patients and are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality.