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Volume 12, Number 6—June 2006
Etymologia

Etymologia: dengue

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[den′gē]

An acute, self-limited disease characterized by fever, headache, myalgia, and rash caused by any of 4 related but distinct viruses of the genus Flavivirus and spread by Aedes mosquitos. Dengue (a Spanish homonym for the Swahili ki denga pepo, which describes a sudden, cramplike seizure caused by an evil spirit) is believed to have been first recorded in a Chinese medical encyclopedia from the Chin Dynasty (265–420 AD). The Chinese called dengue “water poison” and knew that it was somehow associated with flying insects.

Sources: Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary. 30th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2003; Gubler DJ. Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever. Clin Microbiol Rev. 1998;11:480–96; and Halstead SB. Dengue hemorrhagic fever—a public health problem and a field for research. Bull World Health Organ. 1980;58:1–21.

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DOI: 10.3201/eid1206.et1206

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Table of Contents – Volume 12, Number 6—June 2006

Page created: January 04, 2012
Page updated: January 04, 2012
Page reviewed: January 04, 2012
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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