Dengue fever is the most common mosquito spread disease with around 100 million cases occurring annually. It is found in most tropical and subtropical regions and is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no evidence of person to person transmission and the disease is rarely fatal. Travellers should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when travelling to high risk areas. See your doctor immediately if you present the typical symptoms of dengue fever.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever
Typical symptoms of dengue fever include:
- sore muscles
Treatment for Dengue Fever
The main treatment for dengue fever is to encourage the intake of food and especially fluids. This may be supplemented with intravenous fluids if necessary.
Dengue Fever Vaccine
There is no clinically proven vaccine available for the prevention of dengue fever. It is therefore important that travellers to high risk areas take precautions to prevent infection.
Prevention of Dengue Fever
As there is no vaccine available to prevent dengue fever, people in high risk areas are advised to protect themselves against infection by avoiding mosquito bites. Mosquitos carrying dengue fever typically bite during the day, especially at dawn and dusk. Avoid getting bitten by wearing clothing which protects the skin and by using insect repellents on exposed skin. It is also recommended to remove all potential breeding sites for mosquitos such as still water found in containers, pots, and old tyres.
High Risk Destinations
Dengue fever can be found in any tropical or subtropical area and is most prevalent during the warm and humid seasons. Mosquitos infected with the dengue fever virus can be found in both rural and urban areas including major cities. The highest risk is for travellers visiting South East Asia and Central and South America. In Australia, the risk is mainly confined to northern Queensland including Cairns and Townsville as well as the Torres Strait Islands.