Recent news from Bihar indicates that Dengue cases are rapidly inching towards their peak, with over 9,000 cases reported this year. Dengue, also known as break-bone fever, is a viral infection that poses a significant public health challenge in many parts of the world.

This topic of “Dengue” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

What is Dengue?

Dengue is a viral infection caused by the Dengue Virus (DENV), a type of Flavivirus. It is often referred to as break-bone fever due to the severe joint and muscle pain it causes.


  • Occurrence: Symptoms typically begin 4-10 days post-infection and can last 2-7 days.
  • Common symptoms include:
    • High fever
    • Headache
    • Body aches
    • Nausea
    • Rash
  • Recovery: Most individuals recover within 1-2 weeks.
  • Severe cases: While many cases are asymptomatic or result in mild illness, severe Dengue can be life-threatening.


  • Infections annually: Dengue infects an estimated 100-400 million people each year globally.

How is Dengue Transmitted?

Dengue is primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes, particularly those of the Aedes genus, with Aedes aegypti being a notable vector. This mosquito species is also responsible for transmitting other viruses like Zika, Chikungunya, and Yellow Fever.

Prevention and Control

Preventing Dengue involves vector control measures to reduce mosquito populations.


There is no specific antiviral treatment for Dengue. Early detection and proper medical care can significantly lower fatality rates.

Where is Dengue Prevalent?

Dengue is most commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical climates, especially in urban and semi-urban areas. It is endemic in over 100 countries, with the most affected regions being the Americas, South-East Asia, and the Western Pacific. Asia alone represents 70% of the global disease burden.

Spread and Outbreaks

  • New areas: Dengue is spreading to new areas, including parts of Europe.
  • Outbreaks: Dengue outbreaks can be explosive, with local transmission reported for the first time in places like France and Croatia in 2010.
  • Imported cases: Dengue has been detected in three European countries.

When Does Dengue Peak?

The largest reported number of Dengue cases was in 2019, affecting regions worldwide. In the American Region, there were 3.1 million cases, with over 25,000 severe cases. High numbers of cases were also reported in Asian countries like Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

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