DENGUE FEVER (Breakbone Fever)
Increased incidences of this condition has been recorded recently in the press.
My first recollection of this disease was whilst watching the film ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ many years ago and associating the condition with travel in Thailand under poor social conditions.
In fact, I did see a patient with this condition 1-2 years ago and now that more people are taking holidays or working in these parts of the world, I am not surprised the incidence has increased, as sadly many people are not taking proper travel advice. If you are traveling, it may be appropriate to get advice by contacting :
Dengue fever is a condition caused by an RNA virus (arbovirus), which is common in tropic and subtropical areas, particularly India, South East Asia and the Pacific . An estimated 50 to 100 million dengue infections and 200,000 to 500,000 cases of Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) occur annually. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of infective female mosquitoes of the genus Aedes J.
The incidence of dengue fever has tripled in the past 3 months. Since January, there have been 141 “confirmed and probable” cases of the severe infection among those from this country, among those who have traveled to places such as Thailand, Sri Lanka and Barbados – compared with just 51 during the same period last year.
“The increase in the numbers of people returning with dengue fever is concerning so we want to remind people of the need to practice strict mosquito bite avoidance at all times in order to reduce their risk of becoming unwell,” said Dr Jane Jones, an infection expert at PHE.
If you are traveling to this part of the World you are advised to take care in applying insect repellent and wearing long sleeved clothing at dusk and dawn.
There is no vaccination or preventative medicine available for this condition.
If you develop severe flu-like symptoms including fever, headache and bone, muscle and joint pain during or after your stay you should seek medical advise.
There is no specific treatment and for most people symptoms can be managed by taking paracetamol, drinking fluids, and resting. But some of those infected can develop more serious complications and need to be treated in hospital, and the disease can be fatal.
Further details can be found on:-
Written by Dr Jacqueline Bayer