Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are caused by one of four closely related, but antigenically distinct, virus serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4), of the genus Flavivirus . Infection with one of these serotypes does not provide cross-protective immunity, so persons living in a dengue-endemic area can have four dengue infections during their lifetimes. Dengue is primarily a disease of the tropics, and the viruses that cause it are maintained in a cycle that involves humans and Aedes aegypti , a domestic, day-biting mosquito that prefers to feed on humans. Infection with dengue viruses produces a spectrum of clinical illness ranging from a nonspecific viral syndrome to severe and fatal hemorrhagic disease. Important risk factors for DHF include the strain and serotype of the infecting virus, as well as the age, immune status, and genetic predisposition of the patient.

(Source: CDC Dengue Fever Home Page)

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