Severe dengue: the warning signs

If you think you have severe dengue, see a doctor urgently


The symptoms of dengue can be very mild. In fact, many people have an infection without knowing it. But some people can become very ill with severe dengue. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year around the world up to 400 million people get infected with dengue, around 100 million people get sick from infection, and 40,000 die from severe dengue.1

Often the first sign of dengue is a fever, which can last for two to seven days, alongside other symptoms such as muscle pain, headaches and rash. 

In people with severe dengue, blood vessels may begin to leak, blood pressure can drop and organs may stop working properly. This can be fatal.2

According to the World Health Organization, warning signs of severe dengue include


Severe pain in the tummy

Persistent vomiting

Fast breathing

Bleeding gums

Feeling extremely tired

Feeling restless

Blood in your vomit

If you develop any of these warning signs, see your doctor urgently. Spotting these symptoms early and getting treatment promptly could help save your life. 

The risk of developing severe dengue can be higher for someone who has been infected with dengue before. Everyone who lives in or travels to an area where there is dengue is at risk, so take precautions to protect yourself and your family.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About Dengue: What You Need to Know. Available at: [Accessed January 2022.] 

  1. Mayo Clinic. Dengue Fever. Available at: [Accessed January 2022].

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