Dengue fever has rapidly ascended to among the most dangerous and ubiquitous diseases plaguing the developing world. The incidence, which continues to grow each year, is over 50 million annually, with the WHO estimating another 2.5 billion people to be at risk. This epidemic affects over 100 countries, with Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific bearing the brunt of the burden.
DF is a mosquito-borne viral infection caused by any of four serotypes of dengue virus. The serotypes do not confer cross-protective immunity and antibodies developed during infection with one serotype can potentially enhance symptom severity of subsequent infection with any other serotypes.
The disease, transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, manifests itself as a severe flu like illness, with the risk of transformation into a severe hemorrhagic complication (Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever). The virus, a Flavivirus, is acquired from infected humans by Aedes mosquitoes, incubated for eight to ten days. The virus is passed from the mosquito to both it’s offspring as well as unaffected humans bit by infected mosquitoes. This cyclic transmission has thus grown with the marked increase in the urban species of Aedes aegyptii, bringing increasing numbers of people in contact with the vector of disease.
Excerpt from:Dealing with Dengue: Power, Politics and Pathology