Dengue fever is a viral disease caused by the dengue virus (DENV), with a high potential for reinfection.
An alternative name for dengue, breakbone fever, comes from the severity of muscle spasms and joint pain experienced.

Areas of risk

~1/2 of the world’s population lives in areas with dengue risk

Dengue is common in popular tourist destinations such as the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Africa.

Key facts

A person may get infected with dengue virus up to 4 times in their life because there are 4 different serotypes of the virus (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4).

Dengue can be passed to a fetus during pregnancy.

Pregnant women should not travel to areas with dengue outbreaks.

prevention guidance

Dengue can alter how a person smells to mosquitoes.

Previously infected people may attract certain species and may have an increased likelihood of being bitten again.

Annual dengue rates

Up to



Up to


people get sick from the infection

Up to



Dengue at a glance

Primary vector

Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus

Biting habits:

  • Primarily daytime
  • Can also bite at night


About 1 in 4 people infected with dengue will get sick.

Most common:

  • Fever


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Aches and pains (eye pain, typically behind
    the eyes, muscle, joint, or bone pain)

Symptoms of dengue typically last 2–7 days. Most people will recover after about a week.
About 1 in 20 people who get sick with dengue will develop severe dengue.
Individuals who are infected for the second time are at greater risk of severe dengue.
Severe dengue can result in shock, internal bleeding and even death.

Help reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases dampening your travel experience. Learn more by speaking to your healthcare professional, such as a doctor or pharmacist, or visiting a travel clinic, before your next trip.