Dengue warning for Brits travelling to the Caribbean

LONDON, England, Thursday July 11, 2013 – The United Kingdom has issued a new health advisory for Britons travelling to the Caribbean following a surge in the incidence of dengue fever in England.

The steep rise in British cases of the mosquito-borne disease has forced the health agency Public Health England (PHE) to warn travellers to be on the alert for signs of the illness after visiting the Caribbean.

The health agency is also advising travellers to seek medical advice if they experience fever and other flu-like symptoms within two weeks of returning home to Britain from destinations such as Barbados, Jamaica, Brazil, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and several other countries in the Americas and Asia.

The advice came after 11 travellers returned home to England from Barbados reporting dengue-like symptoms between January and April.

Six had similar symptoms after visiting Jamaica, nine Brazil, Sri Lanka 13, and 37 from Thailand.

At the end of April, authorities had documented 141 confirmed and probable cases of dengue fever in England, up from 51 recorded during the same period last year.

The total number of cases in England in 2012 was 343, as compared with 223 in 2011.

“The increase in the number of people returning with dengue fever is concerning, so we want to remind people of the need to practise strict mosquito bite avoidance at all times to reduce their risk of becoming unwell,” said Jane Jones, a PHE expert in travel-related infections.

PHE is advising travellers to use insect repellent and wear protective clothing like long-sleeved shirts and pants to deter mosquitoes, especially at dusk and dawn.

The agency said that a “very small” number of people go on to develop more serious health problems requiring hospitalisation.  Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)

  • Vere Palmer

    Mosquitoes
    bite through cloths. I was wearing a woolen sock, when I was bitten by a
    mosquito. Caribbean governments are not serious about fighting mosquito born
    disease.

    I will
    agree white clothing keeps them off, but anything black attracts them. They
    crawl like ants into crevices to escape being killed by insect repellants. I
    have a feeling the even get through mosquito nets.

    I
    spent two weeks in hospital about ten years ago when I returned from SVG. I
    went from the plane right to the hospital. The doctors and nurses never heard
    about dengue. The next day they came to work and informed me they searched the
    Internet and found the disease. My African doctor knew about the disease and
    wondered why he wasn’t called when I was admitted.

    Many hoteliers
    in the Caribbean believe air-condition rooms prevent tourists from getting
    bitten. However they forget many tourists spend more time outdoors than
    indoors. Only Mustique in the Grenadines
    had control over mosquitoes, some ten years ago. I found this out when I
    researched the disease ten years ago. Mustique installed a machine that
    attracts the female mosquito and kills it. The machine can protect half acres of land and
    is very effective. It’s really up to the people with governments’ help that
    will eradicate mosquitoes in the Caribbean.