For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Q+A: As Temperatures Climb, Is the United States Prepared for a Dengue Fever Outbreak?

Person spraying bug spray on their arm

May 13, 2024

Known as “breakbone fever” due to the joint pain and sometimes week-long high fevers that can accompany the disease, dengue fever is on the rise.

There have been more than a million cases in Brazil so far this year. Mosquitos carrying the dengue virus are also causing major outbreaks in Paraguay, Argentina and Peru, and infecting millions — particularly in the Caribbean and in Latin America, where the 2024 case count is roughly triple the number reported in 2023.

While many of those infected with dengue show no symptoms, others may experience high fever, headaches, rash and other symptoms that are typically treated with acetaminophen. Rare cases can be serious or deadly. More than 1,800 people have died in the Americas in just the first four months of this year from this mosquito-borne disease.

The Drexel News Blog checked in with Esther Chernak, MD, a clinical professor at the Dornsife School of Public Health and College of Medicine and Director of the Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication, and a program director of Dornsife's online MS in Infection Prevention and Control to explain the current global situation for dengue, how to minimize the disease’s spread, and what the United States needs to do to ensure dengue doesn’t spread throughout the country.

Read a full Q&A with Dr. Chernak on the Drexel News Blog:  Q+A: As Temperatures Climb, Is the United States Prepared for a Dengue Fever Outbreak?

In a related piece about dengue fever, Dr. Ana Diez Roux, director of the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative, reflected on a recent trip to her hometown: A Surge of Dengue in Buenos Aires.