Dengue is fast emerging pandemic-prone viral disease in many parts of the world. Dengue fever is an infection caused by dengue viruses, of which there are four different serotypes (extremely closely related microorganisms) known to infect humans. Dengue causing a severe flu-like illness and, sometimes causing a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. The incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years. Up to 50-100 million infections are now estimated to occur annually in over 100 endemic countries, including India, putting almost half of the world’s population at risk.
Dengue virus is transmitted by a bite from the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Only the female mosquito transmits the dengue virus. This mosquito is a daytime biter, and is most active in the hours after sunrise and before sunset. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes breed in containers holding water, both inside and outside the home and rarely fly more than 200 metres from the breeding site. They do not breed in creeks, swamps, pools or other bodies of water.