Dengue Symptoms and Treatment

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Key Facts

    1 in 4: About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick.

    For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.     Severe dengue can be life-threatening within a few hours and often requires care at a hospital


    Mild symptoms of dengue can be confused with other illnesses that cause fever, aches and pains, or a rash.

Graphic of human body showing most common symptom of dengue is fever with any of the following: eye pain, headache, muscle pain, rash, bone pain, nausea/vomiting, joint pain

The most common symptom of dengue is fever with any of the following:

    Nausea, vomiting


    Aches and pains (eye pain, typically behind the eyes, muscle, joint, or bone pain)

    Any warning sign

Symptoms of dengue typically last 2–7 days. Most people will recover after about a week.


    There is no specific medicine to treat dengue.

    Treat the symptoms of dengue and see your healthcare provider.

If you think you have dengue

    See a healthcare provider if you develop a fever or have symptoms of dengue. Tell him or her about your travel.

    Rest as much as possible.

    Take acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol ) to control fever and relieve pain.

        Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen!

    Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Drink water or drinks with added electrolytes.

    For mild symptoms, care for a sick infant, child, or family member at home.

Sign for emergency room

Symptoms of dengue can become severe within a few hours. Severe dengue is a medical emergency.

Severe dengue

    About 1 in 20 people who get sick with dengue will develop severe dengue.

    Severe dengue can result in shock, internal bleeding, and even death.

    If you have had dengue in the past, you are more likely to develop severe dengue.

    Infants and pregnant women are at higher risk for developing severe dengue.

Symptoms of severe dengue

Warning signs of severe dengue

Watch for signs and symptoms of severe dengue. Warning signs usually begin in the 24–48 hours after your fever has gone away.

Immediately go to a local clinic or emergency room if you or a family member has any of the following symptoms.

    Belly pain, tenderness

    Vomiting (at least 3 times in 24 hours)

    Bleeding from the nose or gums

    Vomiting blood, or blood in the stool

    Feeling tired, restless, or irritable

Treatment of severe dengue

    If you have any warning signs, see a healthcare provider or go to the emergency room immediately.

    Severe dengue is a medical emergency. It requires immediate medical care at a clinic or hospital.

    If you are traveling, find health care facility as soon as possible.