Dengue Fever in Laos
According to a report released this month by the Ministry of Public Health, a dengue epidemic in Laos has infected 48 000 people, killing 92 last year (2012).
The avoidance of mosquito bites, particularly during daylight hours is essential, and covering up with clothes treated with fabric spray and the use of bite avoidance measures such as repellent and bed nets is strongly advised. A Vaccine is under trial but not yet available.
Dengue is endemic in South East Asia, the Indian sub-continent, the Pacific region as far south as Queensland in Australia, the Caribbean Islands, northern and eastern parts of Central and South America, to a lesser extent the Middle East and sporadically in Africa. Recent widespread epidemics in Central and South America and Asia, combined with the threat of global warming, the mosquito vector has been spreading to more temperate regions and to higher altitudes than the traditional 1000 metres. It is thought that we could have Dengue here in the UK by 2020.
Dengue is spread by the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito which predominantly bite during daylight hours. There is an incubation phase of 3-8 days usually with a sudden onset of fever and headache. A rash develops after 3-5 days with recurrence of fever. There may also be vomiting, and diarrhoea. The illness usually resolves within a few days and serious complications are uncommon.
However, in some cases dengue can progress to a haemorrhagic form, potentially with shock, which can be fatal. Recent research suggests an incidence of around 2% with around 1-2% of these cases being fatal. This is more common in children.
Human to human spread of dengue has not been recorded.
Insect repellents, clothing sprays, nets, room sprays and plug in mosquito killers are all available from The Travel Clinic in Ipswich and Cambridge.
For a full personalised consultation and travel advice, phone or email to book an appointment now with one of our Travel Nurse Advisors.
0845 5480 543 or
for appointments in Cambridge and Ipswich