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Dengue Fever and West Nile Virus

Updated on March 20, 2020
Pamela99 profile image

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

Breakout of Dengue Fever Increases

In 2011, Key West suffered a breakout of Dengue Fever, which is spread by mosquitoes. This was the first breakout in the U.S. Puerto Rico is another place where Dengue Fever is a large problem. Now, Dengue Fever has hit the continental US, much of South America, Greece, many countries in southern Asia and Africa.This disease has become a world wide problem.

The mosquitoes pass the dengue fever to a person and to each other. At this point authorities state 5% of Key West residents have been affected. There is some chance that this fever will spread in the more tropical areas of the United States.

The female Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are the primary vectors for the spread of the fever. Biologists have actually created a mosquito killing bacteria to fight Dengue fever.

Key West literally placed thousands of mosquito traps, which covered hundreds of acres as they fought these mosquitoes. People are most susceptible to getting bit at dawn and dusk.

Female Aedes aegypti Mosquito


FDA Approved Test for Dengue Fever

The FDA announced on June 21, 2012, that the CDC has developed a new test to detect dengue fever. The test is called CDC-DENV-1-4 Real Time RT PCR Assay. This test will help diagnosis the fever within 7 days of when the symptoms first appear. All four types of dengue fever can be diagnosed utilizing this test.


Dengue fever Symptoms

Dengue fever is a viral infection that is debilitating but not usually fatal in otherwise healthy people. It can be diagnosed by a blood test. There is no vaccine to prevent Dengue fever at this time.

Once bitten it takes 6-7 days for the disease to develop. The symptoms are fevers as high as 104-105, severe headache behind the eyes, rash, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting muscle and joint pain with general malaise. The severity of the joint pain has given dengue the name "breakbone fever.” The rash appear 3-4 days after the beginning the fever. The illness may last up to 10 days but full recovery often takes a month. Children and young adults have about a 5% death rate

Dengue Fever: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

World Wide Problem

Most people get milder cases but others become severely ill. Mayo clinic states, “Dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome — can additionally cause severe bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure (shock) and death.” Dengue hemorrhagic fever has not been reported in Key West.

Dengue is much more of a problem elsewhere in the hemisphere, with an estimated 4.6 million cases from 2000 to 2007 in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It is also prevalent in Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific. Dengue fever is on the rise, particularly in poor countries that are highly populated.

Ares of the World with Dengue Fever


West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus is a disease caused by mosquitoes and expected to occur in epidemic numbers for 2012. The heavy spring rains have allowed mosquitoes to breed in record numbers and the West Nile Virus is expected to become a problem in numerous states all the way up to the north mid west states. Controlling the number of the mosquitoes appears to be the most effective way to fight this disease at the time. It is important use protection when outdoors, especially in the early morning and in the evening. Maker sure the screens on your house are without holes. I

While this disease is self-limiting, there is not cure. Scientist are working on a vaccine but at this time only the symptoms can be treated, which means analgesics, fluids and bed rest. India and Brazil are also working hard to find a cure to this awful disease.

Dengue Fever


The best thing you can do to prevent this fever if you are in one of these tropical areas is to spray yourself from head to toe with mosquito repellent before going out. Long sleeve shirts are helpful.

Of course, you want to eliminate any standing water around your house is you live in these areas, plus change water in pet dishes and bird baths frequently is important. This is also probably not the best time to visit Key West or even the southern most areas of FL, at least without your mosquito repellent.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    jainismus, I am sorry to hear there are more cases in India now. I hope this information can help. I appreciate your comments.

  • jainismus profile image

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    7 years ago from Pune, India

    Now a days, Dengue fever is on rise in many parts of India. Thank you for sharing this information, which is useful for me.

    Shared with my Hub followers.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    shoaib4d, Thank you for your comments and website.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    You can view this one for dengue fever symptoms and treatments

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    corondo fontanilla, It sounds like you are very knowledgeable about treatment for some diseases and I think you should write a hub. Thank you very much for your comments.

  • profile image

    conrado fontanilla 

    9 years ago

    Dengue fever is also prevalent in my country. I wonder if another effort like the March of Dimes could be launched to come up with a vaccine as the disease is caused by virus. It could be easier to make a vaccine now that technology is well developed unlike during the time of Salk who had to invent some methods like culture of virus. I heard that dengue has seven serotypes, poliovirus only three. I have a hypothesis that dengue virus can be chelated with,say, vitamin C. There was a suggestion that Vit. C was effective against the polio bug. There is another anecdote that magnesium is effective; magnesium is also a chelator. I might come up with a Hub in addition to yours.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Sun-girl, I'm glad the hub was useful to you and I appreciate your comments.

  • Sun-Girl profile image


    9 years ago from Nigeria

    Pamela, pretty nice and interesting hub you actually did in here,never knew that mosquitoes can also transmit dengue fever even as little they look.Great job which was well shared and i acquired a lot knowledge.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Nancy, Thank you so much for your comment.

  • nancy_30 profile image


    10 years ago from Georgia

    Great hub. This was very useful information.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Safayderf, Wow! What a story. The disease sounds worse than those symptoms I wrote about, although some people do get a more severe for of the disease and that sounds like you.

    My son and family lived in the DR on the south side of the island for about 3 years and I visited them on 2 occasions and never had that problem. I wonder if it is worse this year or maybe we were just lucky.

    I appreciate you sharing your story and will look forward to your hub. I wish you a speedy recovery from this point on.

  • sanfayedr profile image


    10 years ago from Wherever I am at the time.

    This is the best information on Dengue Fever that I have found on the internet.

    Both my partner and I contracted Dengue in January of this year while living in Sosua in the Dominican Republic. We both had different symptoms over and above the debilitating fever, chills and horrific body aches.

    I had the rash or peticias whereas his concern was fluid in his lungs (maybe from body surfing and not Dengue?)

    In any event we were both admitted to the hospital and put on IV, replete with concoctions to benefit us individually and a lot of B vitamins. The Hematologist checked us every day and we both were appreciative of the efforts of the hospital if not their food.

    He bounced back fine but I kept getting recurring fevers and when I recognized the pain behind my eyeballs on the last fever I suspected Dengue again (there are four strains) and as soon as physically able I came back to Canada to seek further medical attention.

    I have nothing but the greatest appreciation for Centro Medico and specifically Dr Roberto Spitale but hey, our insurance was running out!

    Nine vials of blood later it turns out that a small percentage of Dengue patients develop an intolerance to viruses in general or as my doctor here in Canada put it; “it's not the Dengue Virus itself but what your immune system decides what to do with it”.

    Actually it is called Persistent Dengue Fatigue. Physicians are getting the idea now but locals have known this all along.

    Similar to any fatigue syndrome it is hard to pinpoint but severe fatigue and depression that comes and goes is the basis of it all. I call it a swooping depression, all is fine and then like in some bad B movie a black veil swoops down and you are totally desolate and hopeless all the while knowing it is your brain and not your life but yet unable to stop the associated emotional pain.

    On a lighter note the locals will tell you if you get Dengue you will probably get it again. If you die on the third episode you probably won’t get the fourth lol

    I certainly learned a lot about mosquito control during this time and I promise I will post a hub on it when I have the energy. And as Arnold said; “I will be back”.

    Blaine I miss you!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Katiem, That is true about knowledge. Thanks for your comment.

  • katiem2 profile image

    Katie McMurray 

    10 years ago from Westerville

    Thanks for the awareness of Dengue Fever Hits Key West! Knowledge is power world wide!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Miata, Your comments are right on target. Thanks so much for your input.

  • prettydarkhorse profile image


    10 years ago from US

    Hi Pam, This is deadly, and coming from the Philippines where it is prevalent during the rainy season, I can see the worries about dengue fever. You're right, there is no cure until now for dengue fever. The danger of losing red blood corpuscle count makes it deadly, Maita

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Support Med, I think a lot of people would consider not traveling there at this time. Thanks for the comment.

  • Support Med. profile image

    Support Med. 

    10 years ago from Michigan

    That must be some really bad joint pain. Won't be going to Key West. Voted/rated.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Pop, I appreciate your comments. I read that all the islands were having more problems this year.

    Audry, West Nile is bad news also. Thanks for your comment.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    10 years ago from Washington

    Gosh - I'm glad I'm not there as mosquitos love me! We live on a wetlands too - just perfect for me but this summer has not been so bad. We had terrible frights with West Nile though a few times now. Great informative piece!

  • breakfastpop profile image


    10 years ago

    I am well acquainted with Dengue Fever. The Caribbean has a terrible problem all the time. We visit St. Maarten every year and each time I am so paranoid about every bite I get. No matter what I use, mosquitoes find me and love me.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Hello, Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your comment.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    10 years ago from London, UK

    An informative hub about an absolutely horrible disease. Thank you for the comprehensive information.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Amber, Yes, they are. Thanks for your comments.

  • Amber Allen profile image

    Amber Allen 

    10 years ago

    Hi Pamela

    A very interesting hub. Mosquitos are the carriers of so many different awful diseases around the world.


  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Dallas, Well, I can't blame you for that, although there is always a possibility of earthquakes, but then everywhere has some problem. Thanks for your comment.

  • dallas93444 profile image

    Dallas W Thompson 

    10 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

    Boa constrictors, alligators, snakes, now dengue fever... Think I'll stay in California...

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Loves to read, I am not familiar with Ross River Fever but it sounds bad. Thanks for sharing that information.

  • Loves To Read profile image

    Loves To Read 

    10 years ago

    Very informative hub Pamela. This sounds very nasty and people need to be aware. Here in Oz the mosquito carries a sickness called Ross River Fever. Sound very similar. Although not fatal to most it is a sickness that can take 12months or more before the sufferer is completely over it.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Cari Jean profile image

    Cari Jean 

    10 years ago from Bismarck, ND

    That is kind of scary. Here we have to worry about west nile but it seems they do a good job of spraying within city limits because I haven't hardly noticed any mosquitoes this summer. I always learn interesting from your hubs.

  • msorensson profile image


    10 years ago

    I am surprised at this..the reason being it would be normal in a third world country but the US? Thanks for sharing with us.

    You did a great job, Pamela.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    K9, I appreciate your comments. I think most bugs freak me out but these are really something awful.

  • K9keystrokes profile image

    India Arnold 

    10 years ago from Northern, California

    Mosquitoes have always freaked me out - what with all of the junk they bring to us! This is a very important hub and the information is wonderful and necessary. Thank you for writing on such a great topic.


  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    ecoggins, I sure appreciate your story. I haven't known anyone who has had the disease and you added a lot of knowledge to my hub. I believe the angels were at your wife's bed posts as I know others with similar experiences. The gold fish are a great idea and I liked your story of the young man. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. God Bless.

    drbj, I agree. Thanks for your comments.

    Quill, I have heard stories about the huge mosquitoes in Canada. I appreciate your comments.

    Janny, I hope you and your family stay safe. Thanks for your comments.

  • JannyC profile image


    10 years ago

    Great hub wow. Trying to catch up with my favorite hubbers here. We got wes nile virus danger here. As much as I know they are valuable to our eco system I still do not like the mosquito. I say a prayer for forgiveness every time I have to kill one. Lol

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    Hi Pam... there has to be a better use for these little critters, yet they are all part of creation. This year in our area is the worst year in many for them. Weekly rains and heat have created a problem. No matter where you go people are all sporting the smell of "Deet".

    Pesky as they are again prayer for protection is so important, well between swats and slaps that is. Great information and one we certainly need to be aware of.

    Blessings and Swaps...

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    10 years ago from south Florida

    Hi, Pamela - Fascinating information about dengue fever and kudos to Patriot for the "dense fever" analogy. Both are extremely dangerous!

  • ecoggins profile image


    10 years ago from Corona, California

    Our family lived in Cambodia from 2000 to 2006. In May 2001, my wife and I and two of our sons all contracted dengue fever. My wife had a very severe case in terms of the bone-breaking part as did our second son Andrew. My older son T.J. and I did not get it as severely.

    A week before my wife came down with it, a friend of mine from Australia came by the house for a prayer time together. Before we started praying he told that it was in the news that authorities in Cambodia were expecting a bad year for dengue fever. He described for me what happened when he got it and said I should do all I can to avoid it. He then told me the best thing to do if I did get it was drink lots of water.

    Besides out own cases, I knew many other expatriate friends in Cambodia who had it. In my experience, women are more apt to get it more severely due to their monthly cycle especially women who are prone to anemia. My wife's case was very severe and even though the fever part was over in seven days, she was basically in bed for almost a month. The fever tends to spike at the beginning, subside in the middle and then spike again at the end. My wife's blood count dropped dramatically and she had to be put on an IV.(One side benefit for my wife was that God gave her a vision of four angels guarding her bed posts. This is noteworthy because we are more of the less charismatic style of Christianity.)

    A week after my wife came down with it, I was walking up the stairs to check on her and all of a sudden I could feel my body chemistry begin to change and the fever come upon me. I called a moto-taxi driver from the street corner to take me to the local convenience store to buy water. I bought five two liter bottles and drank them all that first day. The advice my friend gave me really helped and I did not get the fever as severely as my wife.

    Unlike malaria, there is no cure for dengue. No pills you can take. The only thing you can do is drink lots of water and take Tylenol to keep down the fever.

    Do not take ibuprofen. I repeat do not take ibuprofen for the fever. Ibuprofen thins the blood and can cause non-hemorrhagic dengue to become hemorrhagic. This happened to a couple of my friends in Cambodia.

    My understanding is the difference between the mosquitoes who carry dengue and those that carry malaria is that those that carry dengue breed in clean water which is why at least in Cambodia there is more dengue in the cities than malaria. One trick for the bird bath and other flower vases around the house is to put goldfish in them because they will eat the mosquito larva. I learned this from a Cambodian young man who used to tutor me in the Khmer language. He took a small goldfish from a pot outside and put in one of our glass vases. The fish swam aaound for a moment to get a lay of the tiny sea (so to speak) and then became an underwater vacuum cleaner - sucked everyone of the mosquito larva up in less than a second minute.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Sheila, Thanks for your comments.

  • sheila b. profile image

    sheila b. 

    10 years ago

    I've heard about this on the news, appreciate your details about it.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Habee, Thank you for your comment.

    Patriot, Interesting analogy. You are right about telling everyone you know. Thanks for the comment.

    Mentalist, Thanks for stopping by.

  • Mentalist acer profile image

    Mentalist acer 

    10 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

    Thanks for the Heads-Up Pamela;)

  • profile image

    partisan patriot 

    10 years ago


    The Dense fever unlike the Dengue fever has already spread in this country. Although long suspected it was finally confirmed on November 2, 2008.

    The Dense Fever is spread Hemaphroditically and was first conceived through the esoteric paring of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. It was then further spread through such parings as Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini; Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and most recently between Barrack Hussein Obama and Rham Emanuel.

    A Further distinction between the two is the Dengue is debilitating but not usually fatal; the Dense always results in the death of Entire Countries.

    The symptoms are similar; in the Dengue fevers run as high as 104-105, with the Dense Deficits run as high as 100 plus trillion $$$$. With both the citizenry develop severe headaches behind the eyes, rash, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting muscle and joint pain with general malaise; the malaise is the trigger symptom in the Dense Flu.

    The Dengue last up to 10 days but full recovery will occur. With the Dense the entire population is doomed!

    The best thing you can do to prevent this fever; if it is not too late is to listen to FOX News and Talk Radio. Of course, you want to persuade as many of your friends and family members to do the same because to eliminate this few; many more healthy people are needed!

  • habee profile image

    Holle Abee 

    10 years ago from Georgia

    Scary! Great job you did here!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Tom, I don't know much about that but you are probably right. Thanks for your comment.

  • Tom Whitworth profile image

    Tom Whitworth 

    10 years ago from Moundsville, WV


    If we hadn't been led astray by Rachel Carson and still used DDT these mosquito borne diseases wouldn't be a problem.


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