Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute febrile diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, which occur in the tropics, can be life-threatening, and are caused by four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. It is also known as breakbone fever, since it can be extremely painful. Unlike malaria, dengue is just as prevalent in the urban districts of its range as in rural areas. Each serotype is sufficiently different that there is no cross-protection and epidemics caused by multiple serotypes (hyperendemicity) can occur. Dengue is transmitted to humans by the Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti or more rarely the Aedes albopictus mosquito. The mosquitoes that spread dengue usually bite at dusk and dawn but may bite at any time during the day, especially indoors, in shady areas, or when the weather is cloudy.
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