Dengue FAQ

What is dengue?

A disease caused by four related viruses DENV1, DENV2, DENV3 and DENV4. It has been endemic in Singapore since 1901.

How is dengue transmitted?

It is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito, not person to person.

The mosquito is infected when it bites a person with the virus. The incubation period normally ranges between 3 and 14 days.

What are the symptoms of dengue?

High fever

Severe headache

Severe pain behind the eyes

Joint pain

Muscle and bone pain

Rash or flu-like symptoms

Is there any treatment for dengue?

There is no specific treatment, but supportive care with intravenous fluids and frequent blood test monitoring reduces complications.

Can dengue lead to death?

Death can occur, especially if the infection is not recognised early or early treatment is not sought.

Is there a vaccination against dengue?

There is currently no vaccine available.

If I had dengue before, will I be infected again?

There are four strains of viruses. Infection with one will provide protection against it. Future infection by other strains is still possible.

How different is dengue from Chikungunya?

Both diseases are spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito but Chikungunya has as an additional vector, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus).

While the two diseases have much in common in terms of symptoms, incubation period, and treatment, a good way to distinguish them based on symptoms is: Dengue + Arthritis = Chikungunya.

Source: Ministry of Health, National Environment Agency and American College of Emergency Physicians

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