Is dengue in for the long haul?

After a 3-month drop in dengue reporting, cases are starting to climb again in Majuro, with a few also in the Outer Atolls. More than 3,500 suspected and confirmed cases were recorded across the islands from May 2019 to late August and Majuro hospital hasn’t had a dengue patient-free week during this period. There is now some concern that the virus may become endemic. Read more 

More dengue news from across the Western Pacific in the latest WHO update (Sept 10): most countries, with the notable exception of Singapore, have reported substantially fewer cases than for the same timeframe in 2019. Recent news from Futuna, where a dengue epidemic has been declared after 17 cases were recorded over the past eight weeks. And in the SE Asian region, Thailand has experienced a severe dengue season after ideal weather conditions boosted vector numbers – 126 dengue-related deaths and more than 136,000 cases, with hardest hit areas centred on Bangkok and its environs and Chiang Mai province.   

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.