Dengue, also called breakbone fever, is an infectious disease that usually occurs in epidemics. Dengue is most common in tropical and semitropical regions, but it may also occur during the summer in areas with temperate climates. It is caused by a virus, which is transmitted to man by a mosquito (Aedes). This is the same kind of mosquito that transmits the yellow fever virus.
The symptoms of dengue begin suddenly about five or six days after the virus has entered the body. The symptoms include severe headache, fatigue, high fever, eye pain, intense back pain, and aching stiff muscles and joints. After a few days the fever may fall, but it will rise again, and a rash will appear. The illness usually lasts five to seven days, and it is followed by a recovery period of at least two weeks. Dengue is rarely a fatal disease, and there is no specific treatment for it. It may be controlled by elimination of the mosquitoes that spread the virus.