WHAT IS DENGUE FEVER ?
Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted through the bite of a contaminated mosquito. Among the symptoms of dengue, a fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, ocular pain, joint pain and muscular pain can be quoted. The first symptoms usually appear up to two weeks after the infecting bite. In some cases, dengue fever can provoke severe symptoms, like intense stomach pain and bleeding from the nose or from the gums. In the worst cases, the disease can lead to death.
WHAT IS THE RISK FOR TRAVELERS ?
The persons traveling to tropical and subtropical countries are at high risk for dengue fever. The Caribbean, Central America, South America, the Western Pacific islands, Australia, Southeastern Asia and Africa are particularly affected by dengue fever. It is good to know that the mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus are active during the day and during the night. They are present indoors as well as outdoors, and they are often found in urban areas below the altitude of 1 500 meters.
HOW TO PREVENT DENGUE FEVER ?
There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment for dengue fever. Thus, it is essential that you protect yourself efficiently against mosquito bites when traveling in affected areas.
- Always wear protective clothes, such as trousers, long-sleeved shirts and hats.
- Apply mosquito repellent on exposed skin. Preferably use a repellent containing a high percentage of active ingredients (such as DEET or Picaridin) and offering long lasting protection. But be sure to follow product instructions and always use repellents with caution. Avoid applying repellent in your eyes, in your mouth and on your hands. If you use sunscreen, apply the sunscreen first and the repellent right after.
- Use Permethrin-treated clothing and gear. You can buy pre-treated pants, boots, socks or tents in specialized shops, but you can also treat your own items. When handling Permethrin, be sure to follow product instructions and avoid direct contact with your skin. Permethrin-treated clothes and equipment offer effective protection against mosquitoes, even after several washes.
- Always sleep under a mosquito net (especially if you sleep outside or if your room is exposed outdoors).
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BITTEN BY A MOSQUITO ?
If you are bitten by a mosquito, don’t scratch the site of the bite. Apply immediately hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itch.
IF YOU FEEL SICK :
If you feel sick after visiting a country at risk and you think that you may be infected with dengue fever, consult a doctor immediately (especially if you have a fever). It is important that you inform him/her of the places where you have recently been and of your activities there.
We make every effort to ensure that the information posted on our website is up to date and accurate according to the latest public health recommendations; however, it is impossible for us to make changes on a daily basis.
For the most current travel health recommendations, please call our clinic as make an appointment with one of our travel health professionals.