Since there are four types of dengue virus, having one type of virus will only give protection against that type, not the others.

I'd like to know the meaning of this sentence.

What does having mean in this sentence?
Does it mean suffering the virus or defeating the virus?

  • The 4th definition of have at Dictionary.com is: to experience, undergo, or endure, as joy or pain: Have a good time. He had a heart attack last year This is a common use of one of the most common of English verbs. Please take the time to read the entire Dictionary entry. Further down the page, you will read: Have, hold, occupy, own, possess mean to be, in varying degrees, in possession of something. Have, being the most general word, admits of the widest range of application: to have money, rights, discretion, a disease... Aug 25, 2016 at 4:44
  • Can you provide a link to the document that contains this sentence? have has many possible meanings. If this is about a person, @P.E.Dant's interpretation is probably correct, but if it's about a vaccine or a drug company, that's not the meaning.
    – JavaLatte
    Aug 25, 2016 at 8:16
  • It means suffering the virus or defeating the virus ?
    – learner
    Aug 25, 2016 at 9:44
  • @P.E.Dant I think the definition may be more confusing than we as native speakers think it is "to endure or undergo" isn't the word we would most like choose as a synonym for say "Do you have a cold?" We wouldn't say "Are you undergoing a cold?" I don't think this is question general reference.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 25, 2016 at 11:56
  • It is about ''dengue fever '' in my text book .
    – learner
    Aug 25, 2016 at 11:59

1 Answer 1


In this medical context, having a virus means that one has contracted the virus, or that you have been infected with the virus. In other words, they have been previously exposed to the virus, and now carry the virus (or perhaps more accurately, its antibodies) in their bodies.

In the sentence you quoted, the term "give protection" can imply that the exposure to the virus was via vaccination. The sentence then reads as saying that if someone is vaccinated with just one of the four strains (types) of dengue virus, they will only be protected against that type, and not the other three.

I'm using contract in the following sense:

Contract verb 3 [with object] Catch or develop (a disease or infectious agent): three people contracted a killer virus - ODO

  • 1
    You could also say "infected with one type of virus".
    – ColleenV
    Aug 25, 2016 at 11:55

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