A recent report by Public Health England reported that over half of the Dengue Fever cases in the UK were from travellers to SouthEast Asia. Other destinations included East Africa, America and the Caribbean.
Today 2.5 billion people worldwide live in areas that are at risk of infection. Humans contract the disease when bitten by an infected mosquito.
Mosquitoes remain infected all their lives. They can pass on infectivity to their eggs. In some parts of the world monkeys are also able to pass on infection to mosquitoes. Areas where you can get the disease are increasing.
After a bite from an infected mosquito, the virus circulates in the blood for 2-7 days, causing a feverish illness with headache and muscle pains similar to flu. Sometimes people get a rash.
Who is at risk of Dengue Fever?
Any traveller to Dengue Fever risk area; that is, an area where the disease is constantly present with low levels of infection. The UK data suggested that most cases reported in the UK have travelled to Southeast Asia, Southern Asia, East Africa, Caribbean and South and Central America.
How can I prevent Dengue Fever?
In many countries efforts are made to combat the vector through control of breeding sites. For the traveller, mosquito bite prevention is the only method of preventing Dengue Fever. Also areas where Dengue Fever exists are also areas where Zika Virus Disease could also exist.
Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional. Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.