Dengue in half of districts, regional update

Three of the country’s six districts (Orange Walk, Stann Creek and Cayo) have borne the brunt of the dengue fever outbreak that is currently expanding across the region. With wet weather set to continue, authorities are warning the public of the risk fearing many more cases than the 3,115 already recorded. Other Central American countries with current high rates of dengue are El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua while in South America, Brazil is the hot spot. The risk of severe dengue is heightened in Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico with co-circulation of the four dengue serotypes. Other countries with multiple serotypes circulating are Colombia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Panama, and Venezuela (DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3) and in Paraguay and Peru (DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 4). The latest PAHO Epidemiological Update for dengue notes that the region’s final 2019 total ‘will likely exceed the total reported in the epidemic year of 2015’. More on Mexico’s dengue fever rates. Read more

Advice for travellers

Dengue is spread by Aedes mosquitoes which breed in shady areas close homes and other accommodation. Both bite mainly during the daylight hours, making them difficult to avoid outdoors. Travellers should cover up with long-sleeved tops, long pants, and shoes and socks when mosquitoes are most active. Apply repellent containing an active ingredient, such as DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD) when outdoors to all exposed skin. Read more about dengue fever and preventing insect bites.

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.