Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever

This unpleasant virus is spread through mosquito bites; it’s usually mild but it can be fatal. Symptoms include fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, nausea and a red rash.

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Key Fact

Half a million people with severe dengue fever require hospitalisation each year.1

  • How do people catch these disease?

    When they’re bitten by infected mosquitoes which carry the virus.1

  • Which countries are affected?

    Much of Central and South America and some African and Asian countries (see map).2

  • What are the symptoms?

    A very high temperature (more than 40°C) with a severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash.1

  • How serious is the disease?

    In most cases, dengue is mild and people recover in around a week, but in rare cases it can be life-threatening. In severe cases, fluid accumulates in the lungs causing breathing problems. Dengue can also cause bleeding and organ failure.1

  • Can I reduce the chances of catching the disease?

    You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection:

    • Visit your specialist travel health clinic for a risk assessment before your trip
    • Take steps to avoid mosquito bites when mosquitoes are most active (during daylight hours)3
    • Use a recommended insect repellent containing either 20% Icaridin (e.g Moskito Guard®) or 50% DEET.1
    • Wear appropriate clothing (e.g long-sleeved clothes and long trousers)4
  1. World Health Organization. Factsheet. Dengue and severe dengue. February 2018. Available online: (Last accessed May 2018)
  2. World Health Organization. Dengue, counties or areas at risk, 2013. Available online: (Last accessed May 2018)
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book 2018. Chapter 2 The Pre-Travel Consultation. Counseling & Advice for Travelers. Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods. May 2017. Available online: (Last accessed May 2018)
  4. Gesundheit.GV.AT. Dengue -Fieber. Available online:  (Last accessed May 2018)

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