Dengue Disease Icon Dengue

Question Mark Disease Icon What is it and how is it spread?

Dengue is a viral infection spread to people by infected mosquitoes. In most cases there are no or mild symptoms, but the infection can occasionally develop into a more severe form. Dengue is widespread throughout the tropics and subtropics, where nearly 100 million cases are thought to occur every year.1,2

Who is at risk from Dengue icon Who is at risk?

Dengue occurs in over 120 countries worldwide,1 in the tropics and subtropics. Particularly affected areas include the Caribbean, South and Central America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands, though outbreaks have also occurred in Southern Europe.1,2 Travellers rarely catch severe dengue, however, anyone travelling to countries where dengue is common is at risk of infection, especially if you are visiting for a long time and staying in urban areas. Dengue infection is mainly caught by infants and children living in dengue affected areas.1 If left untreated, dengue fever can be fatal.1,2

What are the symptoms of Dengue? What are the symptoms?

Most dengue infections have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, which usually start around 4–10 days after the mosquito bite. These include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea (feeling sick), vomiting and skin rash. Symptoms will normally resolve by themselves within a few days.1,2 In a few cases severe dengue will develop; symptoms include dangerously low blood pressure, build-up of fluid in the lungs and severe bleeding.2

How can Dengue be prevented Icon How can it be prevented?

The best way to avoid infection is to prevent mosquito bites. As the mosquitoes that spread dengue usually bite during daylight hours, you should wear long clothes and use repellents all day, take special care in the hours around dawn and dusk and insect repellent should be applied to any exposed area of skin.1,2

There is currently no vaccine available to prevent dengue in travellers.2

How can Dengue be treated Icon How can it be treated?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for dengue. If you think you might have the illness you should consult a doctor, who will be able to provide treatments for symptoms such as fever and headache. In rare cases of severe dengue or complications, it is essential to seek hospital care.1,2

Further Information Icon Where can I get further information?

Make sure you contact your GP or travel health practitioner in plenty of time before you travel to discuss the ways you can help to keep yourself healthy whilst away. You should try and contact them at least 4–6 weeks before your trip.

After your trip, you should contact your GP if you develop a fever or notice any other unusual symptoms.

The information provided is a summary that was up to date when this article was published; however, recommendations may be updated from time to time. Please always consult with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist well in advance of travelling.


1. Fit For Travel. Dengue Fever. Available at: Accessed February 2024. 2. Travel Health Pro. Dengue. Available at: Accessed February 2024

MAT-XU-2202948 (v2.0) | February 2024

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