Infectious Diseases 2022

Types of dengue: 5 dúcommon lives answered by an infectious disease specialist

Types of dengue: 5 dúcommon lives answered by an infectious disease specialist
Types of dengue: 5 dúcommon lives answered by an infectious disease specialist

There are currently 5 types of dengue, but the types present in Brazil are dengue types 1, 2 and 3, while type 4 is more common in Costa Rica and Venezuela, and type 5 (DENV -5) was identified in 2007 in Malaysia, Asia.

All 5 types of dengue cause the same classic symptoms, which include high fever, headache, pain in the back of the eyes and extreme tiredness. Check out the main symptoms of dengue.

Due to the fact that there are several types of dengue, it is possible for a person who has already had dengue to be contaminated again, but this time with a new type. The more times a person is infected with dengue, the greater the risk of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever, which results from an exaggerated reaction of the body to the dengue virus, increasing the risk of bleeding and serious complications.Understand better what dengue hemorrhagic fever is and what the risks are.

Some common doubts related to the types of dengue are:

1. What are the main differences?

All types of dengue are caused by the same virus, however, there are 5 small variations of this same virus. These differences are so small that they cause the same disease, with the same symptoms and the same forms of treatment.

However, type 3 (DENV-3), which is the most common in Brazil in the last 15 years, has greater virulence, which means that it causes more severe symptoms than the others.

2. When did the types of dengue appear in Brazil?

Although every year a new dengue epidemic appears, most of the time it is the same type of dengue. In Brazil, the existing types of dengue are:

  • Type 1 (DENV-1): appeared in Brazil in 1986
  • Type 2 (DENV-2): appeared in Brazil in 1990
  • Type 3 (DENV-3): emerged in Brazil in 2000, being the most common until 2016
  • Type 4 (DENV-4): emerged in Brazil in 2010 in the state of Roraima

Dengue type 5 (DENV-5) has not yet been registered in Brazil, being found only in Malaysia (Asia) in 2007.

3. Are the symptoms of dengue type 1, 2 and 3 different?

No. The symptoms of dengue are always the same, but whenever a person acquires dengue more than 1 time, the symptoms become more intense because there is an increased risk of having dengue hemorrhagic fever. Therefore, it is very important to avoid new infections, through measures that prevent the reproduction of the dengue mosquito and, consequently, the bites. See how to fight the mosquito and protect yourself from dengue.

Watch the following video and see how to keep the mosquito away from your home:

4. Can I have dengue more than once?

Yes. Each person can catch dengue up to 4 or 5 times in a lifetime because each type of dengue, DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, DENV-4 and DENV-5, refers to a variation of the original virus and, therefore,, when a person catches dengue type 1, he develops immunity to that specific type of dengue and is no longer contaminated with this variation of the virus. However, if the same person is bitten by a mosquito infected with dengue type 2, he will develop the disease again and in that case, the risk of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever is greater.

5. Can I have 2 types of dengue at the same time?

Being infected with 2 types of dengue is not an impossible situation, however it is considered very unlikely because 2 different types of dengue would need to be circulating in the same region and this is extremely rare. That's why there have not been any cases of infection by two viruses at the same time.

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