Dengue: Over Half of the World’s Population at Risk, Warns WHO

dengue fever Dengue: Over Half of the World
Dengue: Over Half of the World’s Population at Risk, Warns WHO

Dengue: Over Half of the World’s Population at Risk, Warns WHO

Dengue fever, also known as the “breakbone fever,” is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. It affects millions of people globally and poses a significant health threat. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning regarding the increasing risk of dengue, stating that over half of the world’s population is at risk. This article aims to shed light on this alarming situation and provide insights into the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of dengue fever.

The Menace of Dengue Fever

Dengue fever has emerged as a major global health concern, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions. The Aedes mosquito, primarily the Aedes aegypti species, serves as the carrier of the dengue virus. These mosquitoes thrive in urban areas, breeding in stagnant water and biting during the day.

Dengue fever is characterized by sudden onset high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, and mild bleeding tendencies such as nosebleeds and gum bleeding. In severe cases, dengue can progress to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS), which can be fatal if not promptly treated.

FAQs about Dengue Fever

1. How is dengue fever diagnosed?

Dengue fever is diagnosed through various tests, including:

  • PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test to detect the presence of the virus
  • IgM (Immunoglobulin M) antibody test to determine recent infection
  • IgG (Immunoglobulin G) antibody test to check for past infection
  • Complete blood count to identify any abnormalities

2. What are the preventive measures for dengue fever?

To prevent dengue fever, it is essential to take the following precautions:

  • Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water from containers
  • Use mosquito repellents and bed nets
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect from mosquito bites
  • Keep doors and windows screened to prevent mosquitoes from entering

3. Can dengue fever be treated?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for dengue fever. Supportive care is crucial in managing the symptoms, such as:

  • Staying well-hydrated with fluids
  • Taking pain relievers to reduce fever and discomfort
  • Avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin to prevent bleeding

The Global Impact of Dengue

The WHO estimates that approximately 100-400 million people are affected by dengue each year, primarily in Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific, and the Americas. Rising temperatures and increased travel have contributed to the expanding range of dengue cases across borders. Urbanization and inadequate waste management systems also provide ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, exacerbating the spread of the disease.

Dengue fever poses a massive economic burden on affected countries due to healthcare costs, reduced productivity, and the strain it places on healthcare systems. According to a study published in the Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the total annual cost of dengue cases worldwide is estimated to be around $8.9 billion.

Preventing the Spread of Dengue Fever

Prevention plays a crucial role in combating the spread of dengue fever. Efforts should focus on both individual and community-level actions. Public health campaigns that promote awareness and educate people about the importance of mosquito control and personal protection measures are essential.

Governments and local authorities should implement proactive dengue control programs, including regular monitoring and elimination of mosquito breeding sites. Enhancement of healthcare infrastructure and capacity-building for early diagnosis and treatment are also crucial in mitigating the impact of dengue.


The increasing risk of dengue fever should not be taken lightly. With over half of the world’s population at risk, it is vital to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this debilitating disease. Through collective efforts, including effective mosquito control measures and public awareness campaigns, we can combat the menace of dengue and protect the well-being of individuals worldwide.

Remember, the battle against dengue begins with each one of us. Stay informed, take precautions, and spread awareness to ensure a dengue-free future for all.


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