The CDC issued a warning about record increases in cases of dengue virus infections across the world including 42 in New Jersey in people who contracted it while traveling.

Dengue (pronounced DEHN'-gay) is a virus spread through mosquito bites. The number of cases worldwide in 2024 is at a record level of 9.7 million, twice as many cases as in all of 2023.

Those who are infected don’t get sick but some experience headache, fever and flu-like symptoms like nausea and vomiting which ususally last up to a week. Severe cases can involve cause serious bleeding, shock and death.

A New Jersey Department of Health map shows eight cases in Bergen County, the most of any New Jersey county, followed by six each in Essex and Middlesex counties and five in Somerset County. In all cases, the virus was contracted during travel outside the United States.

What is dengue?

The United States recommends a dengue vaccine for children 9 through 16

According to the CDC, the number of dengue cases will likely expand as higher temperatures extend the range of the tropical mosquitoes that carry it.

There are four types of dengue virus, simply known as 1, 2, 3 and 4. When someone is first infected, their body builds antibodies against that type for life. If they get infected with another type of dengue, the antibodies from the first infection may fail to neutralize the second type — and actually can help the virus enter immune cells and replicate.

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