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Advice on Dengue Fever if Travelling Abroad

23 May 2024

The World Health Organization have highlighted that dengue is becoming a growing public health concern globally, and that since the beginning of 2023 there has been a significant increase in dengue cases and deaths being reported from dengue-endemic countries:

  • Around four billion people in 130 countries have been identified at risk of infection.
  • More than 5 million dengue cases and over 5,000 dengue-associated deaths have been recorded across all six WHO regions including Asia, Central America, South America and the Caribbean

Dengue has spread into regions previously considered to be free of dengue. Although dengue is not endemic in Europe, several European countries reported locally acquired cases of dengue. In 2023, locally acquired cases were reported in France, Italy and Spain.

For further information on cases and outbreaks, see the following information sources:

Advice for Travellers

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue is commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide.

  • All travellers to endemic regions are potentially at risk of dengue fever and should be aware of this infection.

Aedes mosquitoes are particularly persistent and aggressive. They bite between dawn and dusk.

There are four serotypes of dengue virus which can lead to a wide variation in clinical symptoms. Most infections are asymptomatic. Some people will present with ‘flu-like’ illness, and symptoms usually self-resolve within 1-2 weeks. A small number (1-2%) of those infected will develop severe dengue and may require hospitalisation.

  • There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, treatment is symptomatic.
  • Individuals who are infected with dengue for the second time are at greater risk of developing severe dengue.

A new dengue vaccine Qdenga® has been licensed in the UK.

Dengue is the second most commonly identified cause of febrile illness in returning travellers; the number of cases in travellers continues to increase.

  • Travellers who develop a fever during or on return from travel are advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible, ensuring they mention their travel history.

Further information: