Dengue virus infection case definition

This document contains the case definitions for Dengue virus infection which is nationally notifiable within Australia. This definition should be used to determine whether a case should be notified.

Page last updated: 17 January 2017


Both confirmed cases and probable cases should be notified.

Confirmed case

A confirmed case requires:

  • Laboratory definitive evidence and clinical evidence

Laboratory definitive evidence1

  • Isolation of dengue virus


  • Detection of dengue virus by nucleic acid testing


  • Detection of non-structural protein 1 (NS1) antigen in blood by EIA


  • IgG seroconversion or a significant increase in antibody level or a fourfold or greater rise in titre to dengue virus, proven by neutralisation or another specific test


  • Detection of dengue virus-specific IgM in cerebrospinal fluid, in the absence of IgM to Murray Valley encephalitis, West Nile virus /Kunjin, or Japanese encephalitis viruses

Clinical evidence

A clinically compatible illness (e.g. fever, headache, arthralgia, myalgia, rash, nausea/vomiting)

Probable case

A probable case requires:

  • Laboratory suggestive evidence and clinical evidence and epidemiological evidence


  • Clinical evidence and household epidemiological evidence

Laboratory suggestive evidence

  • Detection of NS1 antigen in blood by a rapid antigen test2


  • Detection of dengue virus-specific IgM in blood

Clinical evidence

As for confirmed case

Epidemiological evidence

  • Exposure, between 3 and 14 days prior to onset, in


  • a country with known dengue activity


  • a dengue-receptive area3 in Australia where a locally-acquired or imported case has been documented with onset within a month

Household epidemiological evidence

  • Living in the same house4 as a locally-acquired case in a dengue-receptive area3 of Australia within a month of the onset in the case.


  • At least one case in the chain of epidemiologically linked cases (which may involve many cases) is laboratory confirmed.

  1. Confirmation of the laboratory result by an arbovirus reference laboratory is required if the infection was acquired in Australia but outside a dengue-receptive area as defined in the Dengue National Guideline for Public Health Units.
  2. Unless dengue NS1 antigen by EIA is negative
  3. As defined in the Dengue CDNA National Guideline for Public Health Units.
  4. The case must have spent all the exposure period (from 14 days prior to onset to 3 days prior to onset) living in the same house as the epi-linked confirmed case.

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