Dengue fever is a viral infection spread through mosquito bites and is widespread in over 100 countries, primarily in tropical and subtropical regions.
Where are you at risk of becoming infected with dengue fever? Dengue fever is transmitted via the Aedes mosquito, which most often bites during the day, especially at dusk and at dawn.
There is a particular risk of becoming infected with dengue fever in urban areas and around bodies of water such as ponds or water barrels, where the mosquitoes lay their eggs.
Dengue fever is not transmitted directly from person to person, but is transmitted exclusively through mosquito bites.
In some countries, there is a season for infection that follows the monsoon and the rainy season, while in other countries, such as Puerto Rico and the Philippines, there is a risk of infection all year round.
Outbreaks can occur all year round, and the risk of dengue fever in the individual countries can therefore change. Find your destination on Medical's Travel destinations for further information.
What are the symptoms of dengue fever?
Most people who become infected with dengue develop symptoms that resemble the flu, and many recover completely on their own.
Symptoms of dengue fever include:
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pain
Nausea and vomiting
If you are infected with dengue several times, you can develop dengue hemorrhagic fever - this is a serious condition.
What treatment is available for dengue fever? There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. The patient's symptoms are treated to relieve discomfort and avoid serious complications that can be life-threatening.
How is dengue fever prevented?
There is a vaccine against dengue fever that is effective. In practice, it is important to avoid mosquito bites.
Effective prevention methods include:
Use impregnated mosquito netting
Wear loose clothing that covers arms and legs
Use bug spray with up to 40-50% DEET
Avoid places with stagnant water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs
Sleep in air-conditioned rooms
How do you get vaccinated against dengue fever?
The dengue fever vaccine is called Qdenga and 2 doses must be given 3 months apart. The vaccine can be given from the age of 4. The vaccine is live attenuated and must not be given to pregnant, lactating or
people with reduced immunity (either congenital, due to disease or immunosuppressive treatment). As it can be a challenge to reach a full program before departure, it can be considered to travel after 1 dose. This does not achieve full coverage, but up to 80 %.