14 Aug 2019

Dengue reminder for travellers

A reminder for travellers of the risk of dengue Dengue reminder for travellers

Dengue outbreaks worldwide have increased significantly in recent years. Dengue is a mosquito spread virus commonly found in urban and semi-urban areas of the tropics, in Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Central and South America. Most people infected with dengue remain symptom-free. If symptoms do occur, they typically include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting and a rash. Most infections are self-limiting, with recovery three to four days after the rash appears. A small number of people develop more severe illness, which if left untreated can be fatal [1].

Dengue does not occur naturally in the United Kingdom (UK). However, cases are reported in returning travellers, with most cases reported in UK residents who visited Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean [2].

Advice for travellers

See our Country Information pages “Other risks” section for individual country recommendations to check the dengue risk at your destination.

All travellers to dengue endemic countries are at risk of dengue infection.

Protect yourself by following insect bite precautions. As dengue is spread by day-biting mosquitoes, particular care with bite avoidance is advised during the day, especially around dawn and dusk. There is no specific treatment for dengue and there is no vaccine available for travellers.

Advice for health professionals

Health professionals should consider the possibility of dengue in returning UK travellers presenting with a fever or flu-like illness who have recently visited a dengue risk region.

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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