The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reissued a Level 1 Alert that notified travellers they should be taking increased precautions against mosquito bites. Dengue is a disease caused by a virus spread through mosquito bites. The disease can take up to 2 weeks to develop with illness generally lasting less than a week. Health effects from dengue include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle and joint pain, and minor bleeding. Dengue can become severe within a few hours. Severe dengue is a medical emergency, usually requiring hospitalisation. In severe cases, health effects can include haemorrhage (uncontrolled bleeding), shock (seriously low blood pressure), organ failure, and death.
What can travellers do to protect themselves?
Because dengue is spread by mosquito bites, all travellers to risk areas should prevent mosquito bites by using an EPA-registered insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors, and sleeping in an air-conditioned room or room with window screens or under an insecticide-treated bed net.