Global Alert and Response (GAR)

WHO Report on Global Surveillance of Epidemic-prone Infectious Diseases - Dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever


Dengue viruses are transmitted to humans through the bites of infective female Aedes mosquitos. Mosquitos acquire the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person. Once infected, a mosquito is capable of transmitting the virus to susceptible individuals for the rest of its life, during probing and blood feeding. Infected female mosquitos may also transmit the virus to the next generation of mosquitos by transovarial transmission i.e. via its eggs, but the role of this in sustaining transmission of virus to humans has not yet been delineated. Humans are the main amplifying host of the virus, although studies have shown that in some parts of the world monkeys may become infected and perhaps serve as a source of virus for uninfected mosquitos. The virus circulates in the blood of infected humans for 2-7 days, at approximately the same time as they have fever; Aedes mosquitos may acquire the virus when they feed on an individual at this time.