According to the Ministry of Health in India, more than 32, 500 both confirmed and suspected cases of Dengue Fever have been reported in India.
Majority of cases have been reported in: Southern State of Kerala – more than 18,700 cases; Tamil Nadu – more than 11, 500 cases, and Puducherry Union Territory – more than 2, 300 cases.
What is Dengue Fever and How is it Transmitted?
Dengue Fever is spread by mosquito bites to humans and it is caused by one of four types of dengue viruses. The mosquitos that particularly transmit dengue fever are: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species. The mosquitos that responsible for carrying dengue fever particularly bite during sunrise and sunset, mainly during daytime.
What are the symptoms of Dengue Fever?
- Symptoms usually appear between day 3 to day 14 after infected mosquito bite
- Flu-like symptoms including: high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, nausea, vomiting, rash, and joint and muscle pain. In severe cases, dengue fever can be fatal.
- In severe cases (small percentage of infected individuals), people can develop haemorrhagic fever, also known as severe dengue. Signs and symptoms of severe dengue are: decrease in fever, bleeding from gums and nose, severe abdominal pain, fatigue, consistent vomiting and difficulty breathing. Severe dengue can also lead up to shock. With proper and immediate medical care, almost all cases of dengue fever can survive.
What is the Risk for acquiring Dengue Fever?
- Dengue fever occurs throughout the world but mainly found in tropical and sub-tropical areas. It is widespread in regions of Africa, Central and South America, Carribean, Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.
- Travelers are at risk for dengue fever who are traveling to areas where dengue fever occurs.
- Risk is higher during daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset. The risk is increases during prolonged stay in areas where dengue fever occurs, particularly the humanitarian workers.
- Risk is lower for travelers who are staying indoors, in air-conditioned hotels, and who participate in outdoor activities during non-peak hours.
Is there a vaccine or medication against Dengue Fever?
- To date, there is no licensed vaccine and/or medication available for Dengue Fever
- There is no specific treatment for dengue fever but immediate and appropriate medical care and help manage the symptoms and facilitate recovery.
What are the recommendations for Dengue Fever?
- Recommendation is to visit a Travel clinic 4-6 weeks prior to traveling.
- Protection against mosquito bites include the following:
- Cover yourself up
- Use an insect repellent that has DEET or Icaridin
- Apply a permethrin insecticide to clothing
- Stay in well-accommodated air-conditioned room
Government of Canada (2016). Insect bite prevention. Retrieved from: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/insect-bite
Government of Canada (2016). Dengue fever. Retrieved from: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/diseases/dengue
Shoreland (2017). India: Significant increase in Dengue in Southern States. Retrieved from: https://www.travax.com/whats-new/bulletin/76152833