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Everyone knows someone, who knows someone, who has suffered from the dreaded dengue fever. It’s more common than the common mosquito and it can wreak havoc on your tropical holiday. Just ask our travel blogger, Erin Bender.
So what is dengue fever and what can you do to ensure that the only bites you experience in Bali involve eating chicken satay.
Dengue fever is the fastest growing vector-borne (that means mosquitoes) illness in the world. The Aedes mosquitoes carry the illness and they’re found most commonly in tropical regions such as Bali, Indonesia and Thailand. Once a mosquito bites a person who has dengue fever, the mosquito then carries the virus for life. Once it bites someone new, it passes the virus on to them. In a cruel twist of irony, there are no detrimental effects to the mosquito itself once it’s contracted the virus. Humans on the other hand…
Dengue fever is not contagious, but can make you very sick. Symptoms include fever, nausea, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash (that looks a lot like measles or a serious sunburn). In worst cases, the disease can develop into the life-threatening dengue haemorrhagic fever. Diagnosis is made clinically, as the disease can look similar to chikungunya and other viral infections.
There are no injections or cures for dengue fever. Doctors suggest taking paracetamol to reduce the aches and pains, and to keep your fluids up. Cases requiring hospitalisation are often as a result of dehydration, in which case they are hooked up to an IV.
While there are no vaccinations available for dengue fever, there are some simple things you can do to prevent being bitten.