Last update Jan. 18, 2024

Maternal Dengue

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Dengue virus is a flavivirus that is transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes of the genus Aedes (Ae. Aegypti and Ae. Albopictus or Tiger mosquito) from infected reservoirs (human and animal). There is no person-to-person transmission. There are reported cases of transmission during pregnancy and by transfusions. (Arragain 2017, MSA 2015)

The genome (RNA) of the dengue virus has been isolated in a few mothers’ milk samples (Desgraupes 2021, Arragain 2017, Barthel 2013), however, although suggested (Van de Perre 2021), transmission by this means has not been clearly demonstrated. (Mann 2018, Chen 2016)

In most cases, the virus causes an asymptomatic illness or a mild flu-like illness (fever, arthralgia and rash). There are cases of severe dengue with hypovolemic shock, hemorrhage, thrombocytopenia, encephalitis, myocarditis, hepatitis, effusions, and nephritis. The disease produces permanent immunity, but with four serotypes of the virus, the disease can be passed several times in life. (MSA 2015)

The treatment of non-severe dengue (rest, hydration and paracetamol) is compatible with breastfeeding.

Although no specific antibodies against dengue have been found in human milk, there are antiviral factors that neutralize dengue in lipids from colostrum and human milk (Chong 1989, Falkler 1975). Breastfeeding protects the baby from dengue infection.(MSA 2015), and is associated with a lower incidence of febrile illness. (Libraty 2013)

Given the apparent rarity of dengue virus transmission through human milk and its protective effects on the infant, breastfeeding during maternal or infant dengue disease should continue, as long as the clinical status of the mother and baby allows it.(Lawrence 2016 p 432. MSA 2015, Arya 2014)

Although pyrethroid pesticides used in the control of malaria or dengue can accumulate in human milk, the estimated daily intakes for infants were found to be within the maximum levels acceptable by the WHO. (Corcellas 2012)

Dengue vaccine does not contraindicate breastfeeding. (LactMed).

See below the information of this related product:

  • Dengue Fever Vaccines (Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.


  1. LactMed. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Internet. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Available from: 2006 - Consulted on March 15, 2022 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Desgraupes S, Hubert M, Gessain A, Ceccaldi PE, Vidy A. Mother-to-Child Transmission of Arboviruses during Breastfeeding: From Epidemiology to Cellular Mechanisms. Viruses. 2021 Jul 7;13(7). pii: 1312. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. Van de Perre P, Molès JP, Nagot N, Tuaillon E, Ceccaldi PE, Goga A, Prendergast AJ, Rollins N. Revisiting Koch's postulate to determine the plausibility of viral transmission by human milk. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2021 Jul;32(5):835-842. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  4. Mann TZ, Haddad LB, Williams TR, Hills SL, Read JS, Dee DL, Dziuban EJ, Pérez-Padilla J, Jamieson DJ, Honein MA, Shapiro-Mendoza CK. Breast milk transmission of flaviviruses in the context of Zika virus: A systematic review. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2018 Jul;32(4):358-368. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Arragain L, Dupont-Rouzeyrol M, O'Connor O, Sigur N, Grangeon JP, Huguon E, Dechanet C, Cazorla C, Gourinat AC, Descloux E. Vertical Transmission of Dengue Virus in the Peripartum Period and Viral Kinetics in Newborns and Breast Milk: New Data. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2017 Nov 24;6(4):324-331. Abstract
  6. Hawai State. Department of Health Dengue Fever. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). 2016 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM. Breastfeeding. A guide for the medical profession. Eighth Edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2016
  8. Chen LH, Wilson ME. Update on non-vector transmission of dengue: relevant studies with Zika and other flaviviruses. Trop Dis Travel Med Vaccines. 2016 Aug 29;2:15. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  9. MSA - Ministerio de Salud. Argentina. Enfermedades infecciosas. Dengue. Guía para el equipo de Salud. 2015 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Arya SC, Agarwal N. Implications of a possible route of vertical transmission of dengue virus by breast milk. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2014 Sep;27(13):1394-5. Abstract
  11. Libraty DH, Capeding RZ, Obcena A, Brion JD, Tallo V. Breastfeeding During Early Infancy is Associated with a Lower Incidence of Febrile Illnesses. Open Pediatr Med Journal. 2013 Jun 24;7:40-41. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  12. Barthel A, Gourinat AC, Cazorla C, Joubert C, Dupont-Rouzeyrol M, Descloux E. Breast milk as a possible route of vertical transmission of dengue virus? Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Aug;57(3):415-7. Abstract
  13. Corcellas C, Feo ML, Torres JP, Malm O, Ocampo-Duque W, Eljarrat E, Barceló D. Pyrethroids in human breast milk: occurrence and nursing daily intake estimation. Environ Int. 2012 Oct 15;47:17-22. Abstract
  14. Chong KY, Lin KC. [A preliminary report of the fetal effects of dengue infection in pregnancy]. Gaoxiong Yi Xue Ke Xue Za Zhi. 1989 Jan;5(1):31-4. Chinese. Abstract

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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Confederación Nacional de Pediatría (CONAPEME) of Mexico

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