What is Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever?

What is Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever?

What is Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever?

Dengue hemorrhagic fever poses a serious threat and can be fatal, particularly when a person contracts a different type of dengue virus during a subsequent infection (second, third, or fourth time).

There are four strains of the Dengue Virus—DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4—transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Ironically, the immunity developed against one strain of the virus can exacerbate the illness when another strain infects the individual.

Initially, the symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever mirror those of dengue fever:

• High Fever
• Headache
• Joint Aches
• Muscle Aches
• Vomiting
• Decreased Appetite

However, the situation escalates during the acute phase, marked by more severe symptoms.

Acute Symptoms of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever

Dengue hemorrhagic fever can progress to a severe state known as dengue shock syndrome, characterized by symptoms such as clamminess due to sweating and cooling. This condition severely affects the circulatory system and can be fatal. Globally, there are over 100 million reported cases of dengue fever annually, with some progressing to dengue hemorrhagic fever. Individuals at higher risk include children under 12 years of age, women, Caucasians, and those who have previously been infected with one of the dengue viruses.


Similar to dengue, there is currently no immunization or specific treatment for dengue hemorrhagic fever. However, for severe cases of dengue fever, medical professionals can play a critical role in saving lives by effectively managing the patient’s body fluid levels. While developing a vaccine for dengue prevention has been a challenging endeavor, there has been progress in this area. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides technical guidance and support to various countries and private partners involved in vaccine research and evaluation. Numerous candidate vaccines are undergoing trials at different phases, with expectations of commercial availability by the year 2015.