Chikungunya, dengue digest

Brazil took top ranking for both chikungunya and dengue fever notifications (confirmed and suspected cases) since Feb 26 in the ECDC’s latest global update. The four other countries that made up the majority of dengue cases reported during this period were Vietnam, the Philippines, Nicaragua and Peru (note: a separate report on a rise in dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus cases). The situation in the French Antilles has improved, with low levels of dengue recorded in Martinique, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy – Guadaloupe is said to be in a ‘stable’ epidemic phase of its outbreak. On the island of Reunion, the dengue outbreak is accelerating across 21 communes: the West (Le Port - more than half of all cases this year, La Possession and Saint Paul) and South (Saint-Joseph, Tampon and Etang-Salé) most affected.

Advice for travellers

Dengue fever is common in most tropical or sub-tropical regions of the world. The virus is spread by daytime-feeding Aedes mosquitoes and to avoid it and other insect-borne diseases, travellers should apply an insect repellent containing an effective active ingredient, such as DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD), to exposed skin when outdoors during the day. In addition, cover up with long-sleeved tops, long pants, and shoes and socks around dawn and dusk, as well as other times when the mosquitoes are active.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.