Dengue season updates

The ECDC notes substantial year-on-year increases in dengue fever reporting across the SE Asian region. In more recent updates, according to the director of Cambodia’s National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, dengue infections have struck 13,000 people across the Kingdom this year and 24 children have died from dengue-related causes. In Singapore, the NEA reported almost 500 dengue cases in the week to June 29 (a 3-year high in weekly rates) and announced a 56 percent increase in Aedes mosquito populations between March and May this year, heightening the risk of dengue transmission. While in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City residents are facing a similar rise in the incidence of dengue fever with one hospital admitting 70 dengue cases daily; Colombo district in Sri Lanka has recorded over 5,000 cases for the first half of the year (followed by Gampaha, Jaffna and Kalutara); and Tainan now joins Kaohsiung (Taiwan) in reporting locally-acquired dengue fever cases this year – a total of 31.

Advice for travellers

Dengue is spread by two types of Aedes mosquitoes. Both breed close to dwellings, are found in shady areas and bite mainly during the daylight hours, making them difficult to avoid. 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 PMD when outdoors to all exposed skin. Read more about dengue fever.

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.