24 Feb 2016

Dengue: Uruguay

First cases of locally acquired dengue reported from Uruguay Dengue: Uruguay

As of 19 February 2016, the Ministry of Public Health of Uruguay has reported two confirmed cases of locally-acquired dengue in Montevideo; the first case was reported on 13 February 2016 [1]. Although the mosquito vector has been present in Uruguay for 20 years, these are the first cases of locally-acquired dengue reported in the country. Clearance of mosquito breeding grounds is underway. Uruguay neighbours both Brazil and Argentina where dengue is prevalent.

Dengue is a viral infection transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Although most patients with dengue will recover uneventfully, a small number will develop more severe life-threatening forms of the disease. Dengue is common in the tropics including the Caribbean, South and Central America, Africa, SE Asia, the Indian sub-continent and the Pacific Islands.

Advice for travellers

Travellers to Uruguay can reduce their risk of acquiring dengue by taking precautions to minimise mosquito bites. Particular vigilance with bite precautions should be taken around dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes that transmit dengue are most active. There is no vaccine to prevent dengue. More information about mosquito bite avoidance is available on our insect and tick bite avoidance factsheet.

Advice for health professionals

Health professionals who suspect a case of dengue should send appropriate samples for testing (with full travel and clinical history) to the Public Health England, Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory.

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