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Disease outbreaks: http://www.who.int/csr/don/en/
& DENGUE HAEMORRHAGIC FEVER
Overseas information: http://www.cdc.gov/Dengue/
Dengue a mosquito borne viral disease has undergone a
The "Dengue" mosquito ( Aedes aegpti )
prefers to feed on humans and has invaded urban tropical environment of many countries including Australia. Unlike the malarial mosquito which only feeds
between dusk and dawn, the dengue mosquito is a daytime feeder. It is considered the most
important mosquito spread viral disease in the world today. Severe headache,
bone & muscle pain, high fever and rash usually occur 3-14 days after an infected bite.
A Life threatening blood disorder can occur. There is no vaccination available so avoiding
bites is essential.
Anyone suspected of being infected with Dengue, especially
the haemorrhagic form (large bruises on skin, bleeding gums or blood from nose or bowel)
should seek medical attention immediately. If untreated or incorrectly treated Dengue
haemorrhagic fever can be fatal.
Also WHO. - www.who.int/csr/disease/dengue/en/index.html
|What is dengue ?
||Dengue is a viral infection which causes an
influenza-like illness, with fever, malaise and body pains, followed by a measles-like
rash. It lasts about 2 weeks, but may take several weeks for full recovery.
Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a more severe form of dengue which occurs in people who
have had previous exposure to dengue. It causes circulatory failure, respiratory distress
and haemorrhage, and may be fatal.**
|How is it transmitted ?
||The virus is transmitted through the bite of
the Aedes mosquito, which occurs in both urban and rural settings, and is mainly day
biting. The mosquito only travels short distances (<30 metres), so attention to reducing its breeding environment in proximity is important
The onset is from 3 -14 days.
There are 4 types of dengue virus, so that repeat infections can occur.
|What is the risk of catching dengue?
||Dengue occurs mainly in SE Asia, Pacific
Islands, India and Central America; but also can occur in East Africa, northern Australia
and southern USA, and may occur in epidemics, especially during the rainy season. Risk is
generally low, but greater during epidemics / rainy season.
Prevention of Dengue
||Side effects & contra-indications
|Avoid mosquito bites
||Wear long sleeved dress and
trousers, and use mosquito repellant during the day. Mosquito netting and repellant at
night is also useful.
||No vaccine or prophylactic tablets
are currently available, although experimental vaccines are being researched and trialed in hospitals.
Extract from NORTHERN SYDNEY AREA PUBLIC HEALTH UNIT
** Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (additional note)
The risk of DHF in travellers who have had dengue before and return to endemic dengue area is 0.5% to 1%. However the risk is higher if the traveller is infected by a different strain of dengue (1% to 13%). The risk is at the upper end of this range in children.
Information mostly taken from: "International
Travel and Health" (WHO year book -
Australian Immunisation Handbook, 8th Edition - 9/2003 - Part1 - Part 2 & Part 3 (large pdf
Centre for Disease Control, USA - www.cdc.gov/travel Travel Health Seminar Oct 96, June 97,Feb 98, March 99, May 2000, August 2002 &
March 2005 - Victorian Medical Postgraduate Foundation.
Manual of Travel Medicine,
Melbourne, Oct 2004.
Updated 06/09/2006. Additional references & disclaimer.
Last Page edit:
29 September, 2010