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Dengue virus infection A016

Last amended 
16 November 2020

In this section

Current RMA Instruments
Reasonable Hypothesis SOP
78 of 2020
Balance of Probabilities SOP
79 of 2020
Changes from previous Instruments

SOP Bulletin 217

ICD Coding
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 061, 065.4
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: A90, A91
Brief description

Dengue virus infection (Dengue fever) is a febrile illness caused by infection with one of four dengue viruses and transmitted by mosquitoes.  Manifestations can range from a mild self-limiting illness to a severe life threatening condition.

Confirming the diagnosis

The diagnosis should be confirmed by serological testing or detection of viral components in serum and can be made by a treating general practitioner.  Infection with a dengue virus may be asymptomatic.  The SOP requires a clinical illness.

If there is a history of dengue fever but the condition is no longer present, a diagnosis of Dengue virus infection (or fever) – resolved, or alternatively, No Incapacity Found, would apply.

The relevant medical specialist is an infectious diseases physician.

Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • Dengue fever
  • Dengue haemorrhagic fever
  • Dengue shock syndrome
  • Dengue with warning signs
  • Severe dengue
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • Asymptomatic dengue virus infection (serology positive for past infection but no clinical illness) - not a disease or injury.

More severe disease can occur when there is a new infection with a dengue virus and there has been a past infection (any time before, including many decades) with a different strain of the dengue virus.

Clinical onset

The condition typically presents with a sudden high-grade fever (≥38.5°C) which may be accompanied by headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pain, and a transient rash.  The fever generally lasts for 3 to 7 days.  Symptoms typically develop between 4 and 7 days after a bite from an infected mosquito.

Clinical worsening

The only SOP worsening factor is for inability to obtain appropriate clinical management.  There is no direct antiviral therapy available.  Treatment consists of supportive measures.  The usual disease outcome is for recovery without any ongoing effects, but fatalities occur in a small percentage of those who develop severe disease.