Dengue Fever

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Dengue fever is a flu-like viral disease common throughout the tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world, mainly in urban and peri-urban areas. Today, it afflicts an estimated 50 million to 100 million in the tropics (Epstein, 2000). The virus has four antigenically related serotypes, which are named DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. Each dengue serotype is a variation of the flavivrus genus. Dengue is spread by the aedes aegypti, a domestic, day-biting mosquito that prefers to bite humans. Currently, there is no vaccine available to prevent dengue.

Each type of the dengue virus is re-emerging worldwide, especially in the Western Hemisphere. Research has shown that several factors are contributing to the resurgence of dengue fever such as uncontrolled urbanization, increased international travel, substandard socio-economical conditions, and finally global warming. Global warming has shown to be a major contributor to the spread of dengue fever.

On a molecular level, dengue fever is classified as a flavivirus and appears as a spherical particle, about 40 to 50 nanometers in diameter (www.malarde.pf...). There is a lipid envelope enclosing a nucleocapsid core (www.malarde.pf/...). The dengue virus

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