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Dengue Fever


Dengue Fever is primarily spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito that can spread Zika, Chikungunya, yellow fever and other disease agents. It is possible that other mosquitoes in the Aedes family may also be able to spread the virus.

It can also be spread:

  • Those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant can pass the virus to the developing fetus, or at the time of birth if infected with Dengue Fever during pregnancy.


  • fever (mild to incapacitating)

  • headache

  • pain behind the eyes

  • muscle and joint pain

  • nausea and vomiting

  • swollen glands

  • a rash

  • bleeding nose or gums

  • fatigue (feeling very tired)

These symptoms may be mild or severe. They usually appear between 3 and 14 days after the mosquito bite, and typically last for between 2 and 7 days.

Severe dengue (also known as dengue haemorrhagic fever) is a potentially lethal complication, affecting mainly children. Diagnosing it early and being treated by trained doctors and nurses increases survival.

Some people can get severe dengue fever if they have had dengue fever before.

People with severe dengue feel very unwell and have extra symptoms such as:

  • bruising to only minor bumps

  • nose bleeds and bleeding gums

  • stomach pain

  • breathing difficulties

  • persistent vomiting or poo with blood in it

  • confusion

  • restlessness

  • cold, clammy skin

⚠️ This is a severe illness and it can be fatal. If you think you may have dengue fever, visit your doctor or hospital emergency department.

Who is at Risk?

Dengue outbreaks are occurring in many countries of the world in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Anyone who lives in or travels to an area with a risk of dengue is at risk for infection.

(info) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website includes a map indicating areas of risk for Dengue - here.


While a dengue fever vaccine has been developed, its use is restricted to residents of countries which are endemic for dengue. As such, for tourists, at present, the only way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquito bites.

βš•οΈ Travellers can protect themselves from dengue fever by preventing mosquito bites. People planning to visit dengue-affected countries should seek advice from their doctor or a travel clinic at least 4-6 weeks before departing.

(tick) Protect yourself against mosquitoes and the risk of diseases they transmit:

  • Cover up while outside - wear loose, long-sleeved, light-coloured clothing, covered footwear, and socks. Mosquitoes can bite through tight clothing.

    • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin - Use 0.5% permethrin to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website includes details about how to use permethrin - here

  • Apply mosquito repellent evenly to all areas of exposed skin.

    • The most effective repellents contain picaridin, DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Natural or homemade repellents provide limited protection. Read the instructions to find out how often you should reapply repellent. Always apply sunscreen first and then apply repellent. Take special care during peak mosquito-biting hours.

  • The mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika will bite all through the day.

  • Stay and sleep in screened or air-conditioned rooms

  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

    • Nets are most effective when they are treated with a pyrethroid insecticide, such as permethrin. Pre-treated bed nets can be purchased before travelling, or nets can be treated after purchase.

  • Avoid known areas of high mosquito-borne disease transmission or outbreaks.

More Information

Discover more about Dengue Fever at the following sites:

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ United States - Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί Australia - Healthdirect

πŸ‡³πŸ‡Ώ New Zealand - National Public Health Service (NPHS)

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί European - Centre for Disease Prevention & Control

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ United Kingdom - Travel Health Pro

🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 United Kingdom (NHS Scotland) - Fit to Travel

πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Canada - Public Health Services

🌐 World Health Organization (WHO)

(info) International SOS

General Travel Advice Disclaimer - here.

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