Can I get dengue more than once?

If you’ve had dengue recently, this may stop you from getting the infection again for the next two or three months. But this protection does not necessarily last in the longer term.1

In general, when you get an infection, your body remembers it. This means if you get the infection again, your body deals with it faster. Vaccines work in the same way – by showing your body what a particular virus or bacteria is like, you’re more likely to be ready to fight it in the future.  

Dengue is caused by a virus that can get into your body from a bite by an infected mosquito. Your body can fight the infection to help you recover.2 But, there are actually four slightly different varieties of the dengue virus, which doctors call DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4.1 DENV is short for dengue virus. 

This means that having dengue only protects you against one of these four types and you can become ill with dengue a second time.3  For reasons that scientists don’t completely understand, you are more likely to become seriously ill if you get dengue again.4  So it’s important to remember that having dengue once doesn’t make you entirely safe from it. 

Even if you have had it before, it’s important to continue taking steps to help protect yourself from dengue. 

  1. Scitable by Nature Education. Dengue Viruses. Available at: [Accessed August 2021].

  1. Scitable by Nature Education. Host Response to the Dengue Virus. Available at: [Accessed January 2021].

  1. World Health Organization. Dengue and severe dengue. Available at: [Accessed January 2022]. 

  1. Malavige, GN. et al. Postgrad Med J. 2004;80:588–601. Available at:[Accessed August 2021].