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However, cross-immunity to the other serotypes after recovery is only partial and temporary.
Severe dengue was first recognized in the 1950s during dengue epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand.
Today, severe dengue affects most Asian and Latin American countries and has become a leading cause of hospitalization and death among children and adults in these regions.
The number of cases reported increased from 2.2 million in 2010 to over 3.34 million in 2016.
Although the full global burden of the disease is uncertain, the initiation of activities to record all dengue cases partly explains the sharp increase in the number of cases reported in recent years.
The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades.
A vast majority of cases are asymptomatic and hence the actual numbers of dengue cases are underreported and many cases are misclassified.
Before 1970, only 9 countries had experienced severe dengue epidemics.
The disease is now endemic in more than 100 countries in the WHO regions of Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific.
Recently the number of reported cases has continued to increase.
In 2015, 2.35 million cases of dengue were reported in the Americas alone, of which 10 200 cases were diagnosed as severe dengue causing 1181 deaths.