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Disease Profile

Dengue fever

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset

All ages



A97.0 A97.1 A97.2 A97.9


Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Dengue hemorrhagic fever; Dengue shock syndrome; Philippine hemorrhagic fever;


Viral infections


The following summary is from Orphanet, a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.

Orpha Number: 99828

Dengue fever (DF), caused by dengue virus, is an arboviral disease characterized by an initial non-specific febrile illness that can sometimes progress to more severe forms manifesting capillary leakage and hemorrhage (dengue hemorrhagic fever, or DHF) and shock (dengue shock syndrome, or DSS).

DF is found in the tropics worldwide, especially in Southeast Asia, the Pacific region, and the Americas, with 40% of the global population at risk. An estimated 50 to 100 million cases of DF, 500,000 hospitalizations, and 20,000 deaths occur yearly worldwide.

Clinical description
The vast majority of dengue virus infections result in DF, which is characterized by sudden onset of fever, malaise, headache (classically retro-orbital), and myalgia/arthralgia, often followed soon after by a petechial rash, which may be pruritic. In most cases, symptoms will resolve within 7 days without further complications. However, in a small minority of patients, a brief period of deffervescence is followed by worsening abdominal symptoms (pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), thrombocytopenia, hemorrhage (DHF: epistaxis, bleeding gums, gastrointestinal bleeding) and a capillary leak syndrome (DSS: hemoconcentration, hypoalbuminemia, pleural effusion, shock). DHF/DSS are seen most often in children under the age of 15 years. Risk is greater with secondary heterologous infection by one of the four dengue virus serotypes, but severe disease may be seen with first infections.

Over 25 different viruses cause viral hemorrhagic fever. Dengue virus belongs to the Flaviviridae family, genus Flavivirus. Four distinct serotypes, with significant strain variation, are recognized. Dengue viruses are maintained in humans and transmitted between them by the bite of infected mosquitoes, most commonly Aedes aegypti but also Aedes albopictus). Person-to-person transmission has not been reported.

Diagnostic methods
Common diagnostic modalities include serologic testing by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Virus isolation may also be performed in specialized laboratories. The viremic phase of DF/DHF is usually brief (first 3-5 days of illness), after which time detection of anti-dengue IgM antibodies, which appear as early as 2-4 days after disease onset, is the mainstay. Numerous commercial ELISA assays are available with varying degrees of sensitivity and specificity.

Differential diagnosis
DF is difficult to distinguish from a host of other febrile illnesses such as malaria and typhoid fever (see these terms), especially early in the course of disease before the rash appears. For DHF/DSS, other viral hemorrhagic fevers, leptospirosis, rickettsial infection (see these terms) and meningococcemia need to be excluded.

Management and treatment
As there is presently no antiviral drug available for DF/DHF, treatment is supportive, following the guidelines for treatment of severe septicemia. Insecticide-treated bed nets, room screens and elimination of larval development sites should be used in open-air settings to prevent further transmission.

Case-fatality rates for DF are less than 1% but may rise to as high as 40% in DHF/DSS, largely dependent upon whether access to advanced medical care exists. Children and persons with underlying chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma are at increased risk. The most severe phase of disease usually lasts only a few days and survivors generally have no lasting sequelae.

Visit the Orphanet disease page for more resources.


This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
80%-99% of people have these symptoms
30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Abdominal pain
Pain in stomach
Stomach pain

[ more ]

Joint pain
Itchy skin
Skin itching

[ more ]

Skin rash
5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
Bruising susceptibility
Bruise easily
Easy bruisability
Easy bruising

[ more ]

Cardiorespiratory arrest
Cerebral hemorrhage
Bleeding in brain
Watery stool
Bloody nose
Frequent nosebleeds
Nose bleed
Nose bleeding

[ more ]

Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
Gastrointestinal bleeding
Gingival bleeding
Bleeding gums
Enlarged liver
Decreased protein levels in blood
Low blood pressure
Decreased blood leukocyte number
Low white blood cell count

[ more ]

Nausea and vomiting
Low platelet count

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

  • You can obtain information on this topic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.

In-Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • MeSH® (Medical Subject Headings) is a terminology tool used by the National Library of Medicine. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Dengue fever. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

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