An old viral disease has resurfaced: dengue fever. According to the World Health Organization, about two-fifths of the global population are at risk. This illness is transmitted by mosquitoes and can be fatal.
While dengue fever has been present in all tropical regions for centuries, there has been a resurgence in the past 30 years. A case has even been reported in Florida, where the disease had disappeared for 40 years.
Symptoms of dengue fever include a high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and severe muscle and joint pain. In some cases, a rash resembling measles may appear. In severe cases, when bleeding occurs, treatment should be considered urgent.
There is currently no vaccine against or cure for dengue fever. Patients usually recover on their own, but severe fatigue can persist during recovery. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travellers protect themselves from mosquito bites while visiting areas where dengue fever may occur, in order to avoid infection.
Have you noticed dengue fever in the news? Are you concerned? How do you stay healthy when travelling to tropical destinations?