It is best to avoid popular tourist countries with most cases of dengue fever symptoms reported to avoid dengue infections from the dengue mosquito. Dengue hemorrhagic fever(DHF)in infants is often fatal.
Most dengue cases in U.S. citizens occur when they visit Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Samoa and Guam, which are endemic for the virus.
Sweden reports 150 cases of dengue infections each year, and all of them come from Thailand, where most Swedes love to vacation.
During my son's and daughter in law's last visit to Thailand, his wife became sick with flue like symptoms, but luckily she felt better after a week of rest.
In Puerto Rico, and most of the Caribbean Basin, the principal mosquito, carrier of the dengue virus is abundant year-round.
Dengue virus transmission in Puerto Rico follows a seasonal pattern.
Low transmission season begins in March and lasts until June, and high virus transmission begins in August until November.
Unfortunately, we have to get used to that there are risks with traveling far away to areas affected by diseases.
In North America, Europe, Russia and New Zealand there are, thankfully, no known cases of dengue infections.
If you have a baby and or small children it would be wise to vacation in other destinations, where you don't need to worry about your children or you getting bitten by dengue mosquitoes and sick with dengue fever symptoms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50 to 100 million dengue infections occur yearly, including 500,000 DHF cases and 22,000 deaths, mostly among children.
Dengue fever is a flu-like illness with fever. The fever is caused by a mosquito-born virus.
And the virus is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites.
The dengue virus disease doesn't spread directly from person to person, but the disease can be transmitted between animals and humans.
Since there are four different dengue viruses, you can get sick several times.
The incubation period is usually five to ten days sometimes up tp 14 days before you feel any dengue fever symptoms.
Dengue gives severe flu-like symptoms with high fever, headache, joint pain, nausea and general feeling of weakness and often skin rash.
It may take up to two weeks after you are infected before the troublesome symptoms come, and by that time you may already back home from your vacation.
If you are seeking medical care after coming home, it is important to inform your doctor that you have recently been abroad.
The dengue fever symptoms can vary a lot, but being on vacation and getting sick isn't a pleasant experience.
In infants and small children, the symptoms of dengue initially are high fever and then itching, so called dengue fever rash.
In dengue infected adults, the symptoms can vary between only having a mild fever to high fever with severe headache, joint and muscle pain and vascular shot red eyes.
After a few days of illness often a measles-like rash appear and at a later stage, punctate skin haemorrhages are visible on the ridges of the feet and hands, and in the armpits.
Because there are four types of dengue virus, you can get sick several times, and the symptoms are often more severe if you get a new variety.
You can then be affected by shock, low blood pressure, failure of internal organs like liver and kidney and bleeding that is difficult to stop.
This often affects the indigenous population because they live with a greater risk of repeated infections.
This is the most serious form of dengue virus and is called hemorrhagic dengue fever which effect some.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever only occurs in young children and in adults who have already been infected several times.
Most cases of dengue virus infection don't lead to future harm. It is only in a few cases serious complications can arise.
In certain Asian countries such as Thailand, Philippines and India, dengue is one of the most common illnesses and causes of death in babies and children.
Fifty million people get infected with the dengue virus each year and 2/5 of the earth's population live in areas where they can be affected by this illness or are at risk getting infected.
Dengue fever symptoms are common in countries with a tropical and subtropical climate, mostly in populated areas.
Diagnosis is made by detection of antibodies to dengue virus found in the patient's blood, antigens of dengue fever.
There are no specific drugs against dengue virus.
Therapy is supportive, which means directed against the patient's current symptoms.
There is no cure. The body has to heal the dengue infection on its own.
The treatment is rest and to drink plenty of water with minerals, C vitamin, raw honey, green tea, fruit and vegetable juices and other easily digestable nutrients to help the body heal itself.
There is no specific medical treatment for dengue fever and there is currently no vaccine for the disease.
Sometimes hospitalization is required if one does not get enough fluid in. Protective vaccine is not developed yet.
A vaccine would be a blessing, especially for peolple living in those areas.
The dengue disease is usually benign, and many have only a fever that goes away after a few days.
There is no drug treatment for the virus itself, nor the means to protect yourself through vaccination.
Therefore, the best advice for anyone who will travel to countries where dengue mosquitoes are, is to avoid mosquito bites to the largest extent possible.
You should use plenty of insect repellent, that contains DEET topic, both daytime and when it is dark.
It is a well tested substance that the U.S. military developed for it's soldiers during the wars in Asia.
It is important to shower and wash off all DEET, that was applied in the day, carefully each evening, to avoid an accumulation of DEET in your body.
And it is also recommended, only to use insect repellent with DEET during shorter periods of a few weeks at the most.
You can use sunscreen and DEET at the same time. Read and follow the instructions carefully.
Use protective clothing because it is important that you don't get bitten by a mosquito.
If you buy mosquito repellent with DEET in other countries, they often contain more of the substance DEET than in Sweden.
Reports say that DEET can cross over to the placenta during pregnancy, since it enters your bloodstream and show up in cord blood, therefore it can't be safe for pregnant mothers and those who are breastfeeding.
No mosquito repellent with DEET should be used on children under 3 years of age, according to Sweden, the world leader in baby health care.
You shouldn't rub or spray any insect repellent on small children in general.
For complete information about the safety of DEET, go to http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/consultations/deet/health-effects.html
Children are best protected by dressing them in covered clothes, use light colored clothes and put mosquito netting over the stroller, playpen and bed.
It is important for everyone to remember to use protective clothing, with long sleeves and long pants.
You can also spray DEET on your clothes and stroller netting etc, which prevents the dengue mosquitoes from landing there.
At night, you can sleep under mosquito netting, preferably treated with DEET or the substance pyrethrin.
Mosquito Coils also help to keep mosquitoes away and mosquitoes don't thrive in air conditioned environments.
By protecting yourself against mosquito bites you can reduce the risk of having dengue fever symptoms, as well as other insect-transmitted infections.
Aedes mosquitoes, the mosquito group, which the dengue mosquito belongs to, are unlike many other mosquitoes who only come out at night, these are active during the daytime as well.
A fan can to some extent keep away mosquitoes. Some say insense does the same. The best is to be covered at all times.
The only way to stop dengue infections is to get rid of places where mosquitoes have the ability to breed, such as places with standing water, where mosquitoes can quickly multiply.
In populated areas of cities in Latin America and Asia mosquitos often breed in water containers made by people such as barrels, containers, old tires and other items that can collect rain water.
In Africa the mosquitoes most often breed in natural bodies of water such as ponds and lakes.
In recent years many countries such as popular tourist destinations like Thailand have reported a continued increase in cases of dengue fever symptoms.
The following factors may have caused this:
Extended stays in the tropics increase the risk of getting infected of dengue.
The real number of dengue infections are likely higher since the clinical picture doesn't need to be serious and many has time to get well before they come home and it doesn't get reported.
Dengue fever, is according to US Centers of Disease Control now a notifiable disease in all US states since 2009.
In Sweden, dengue fever symptoms is a reportable disease, and cases of dengue fever get reported both by the county clinical doctors and the Infectious Disease Control Institute (SMI).
However a sick person doesn't need to be insulated from others.