What Is Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever is a virus spread through mosquito bites. It is the most common mosquito-borne disease, affect 390 million people each year. The virus can spread through contaminated needles or blood transfusions, though this is rare.

There are two different forms the virus can present itself in, dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). While simple dengue is rarely fatal, DHF has between one and ten percent mortality. But, DHF is fairly uncommon, accounting for about five percent of all cases.

What Are The Symptoms of Dengue Fever?

Dengue is rarely fatal, but that doesn’t mean it can’t ruin a trip. The symptoms of dengue fever include:

  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever or chills
  • Headache
  • Joint, bone and muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Some mild bleeding such as nose or gum bleeding

From these symptoms, dengue earned it’s nickname ‘breakbone fever,’ for the pain that a patient can experience.

Severe cases of dengue fever, or dengue hemorrhagic fever can have these symptoms:

  • Continual vomiting and/or vomiting blood
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shock

If left untreated, DHF can progress to circulatory failure or even death.

With proper medical care, nearly all travellers will recover from dengue fever.

How Does Dengue Fever Spread?

As a mosquito-borne disease, dengue spreads through mosquito bites. The cycle is generally as follows:

  • A mosquito bites a human who is infected with the the dengue virus
  • The now-infected mosquito bites a human, giving them the disease.
  • This human can now pass the disease on to other mosquitoes which will carry on the cycle.

Recent data suggests 75 percent of individuals infected with dengue show no symptoms. This means many people may not know they are passing the illness on to mosquitoes.

To learn more about dengue fever and the risks associated, contact us by calling +39 392 0056499 or booking your appointment online today.

Is There A Dengue Fever Vaccine?

There is no dengue fever vaccine available in Italy. The first dengue vaccine was approved for use in Mexico and others are being researched.

How To Prevent Dengue Fever

With no approved vaccination, other prevention methods are key in protecting yourself from the virus.

Mosquitoes carrying dengue are most active several hours before dusk and two to three hours after dawn. Extra precaution should be taken during these time periods.

The PHAC has a comprehensive list of tips to prevent insect bites, including:

  • Use an insect repellent with at least 30 percent DEET.
  • Wear loose and long clothing, especially before dusk and around dawn.
  • In an area with a high concentration of mosquitoes, consider using mosquito netting.
  • Sleep under a permethrin-treated bed net. Consider using clothes treated with the repellent.
  • Ensure your accommodation is air conditioned and has screens on the windows.

To learn more about dengue prevention, contact us by calling +39 392 0056499 or booking online now.

Where Is Dengue Fever Found?

The World Health Organization estimates more than 2.5 billion people live in regions where dengue fever is present. This includes urban and semi-urban regions of countries with tropical and subtropical climates. Dengue fever persists in more than 100 countries. Some of the most common are:

Planning a trip to any of these great destinations? Prepare before you go with the help of a our Health Travel Specialist. Call +39 392 0056499 or book online today.

Are There Any Ongoing Dengue Outbreaks?

Dengue outbreaks are often tied to fluctuations in the mosquito population. This means seasons often play a significant role in its spread. Countries currently undergoing dengue outbreaks include:



  • Myanmar
  • Nicaragua
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay



If you are going to any of these locations, meet with a travel health specialist to learn how best to avoid dengue fever. Call Emedi clinic at +39 392 0056499 or book your appointment online today.