Infectious agent: Dengue Virus
Description of illness: Dengue is a tropical disease caused by a mosquito-borne virus. The dengue virus is spread by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. It does not spread person to person, except in rare cases of transmission via organ transplants or blood transfusions from infected donors. Dengue is characterized by the rapid development of a fever, with intense headache joint and muscle pain, and rash. The rash develops several days after the onset of fever. The severe form of dengue is associated with loss of appetite, vomiting, high fever, headache and abdominal pain. Shock and circulatory failure may occur. Symptoms of infection usually begin 4 to 7 days after a bite from an infected mosquito and typically last 3 to 10 days. There are 4 distinct types of dengue virus. After infection a person becomes immune to that type of dengue virus but can still become infected with a different type. Sequential infections increase the risk for severe dengue.