Q. Is there a chance for dengue reattack in the same season?

Answered by
Dr. Lohit Chauhan
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 16, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jan 21, 2020

Hi doctor,

I was diagnosed with dengue towards the end of last month. I was hospitalized for five days. I went through a lot during that period and since coming out of the hospital, I have developed this phobia that I might have dengue again because my area is dengue prone with lots of mosquitoes. Whenever a mosquito bites me, I get filled with this fear that I might have dengue again.

When I went to my doctor with this fear, he told me dengue does not happen twice in the same season, it can happen again in the next season, but it cannot happen again this season.

I want to ask if this is true? If it is true, then what is the logic behind that? Can you please explain? I am immensely afraid of the disease.



Welcome to

The fact that dengue cannot happen in the same season is true to some extent but not absolutely. Let me explain.

Dengue is a viral infection caused by the bite of infected ades aegypti mosquito. Every mosquito bite will not lead to dengue fever as for infection to happen. First, the mosquito should be infected by the dengue virus (DEV). By infection of the mosquito I mean, the mosquito just serves as a vector or carrier for virus transfer to humans.

Also, every mosquito carrying the dengue virus would not lead to dengue fever, shock, etc. Some people just have subclinical, asymptomatic infections too. There are actually four types of dengue viruses numbered from 1 to 4. Infection with one type, followed by recovery confers immunity to that type of infection. Our body produces antibodies against the virus and protects us from further infection, with time these antibodies fade away. So immunity in DEV is present but is short-lived. It can be said that the infection cannot occur in the same season, but if an infection with another type say (DEV type 1 followed by DEV type 2) occurs, the body does not have antibodies which are protective against type 2, as the body was previously infected by DEV type 1. This type of infection is more dangerous. However, in a season only one type of DEV infection occurs usually.

I hope this helps.

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