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Travellers warned over dengue fever

16 October 2012 09:32

The viral infection is spread by mosquitoes

The viral infection is spread by mosquitoes

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has urged people travelling to Madeira to use insect repellent following an outbreak of dengue fever at a popular holiday resort. Since the start of the month 18 confirmed and 191 probable cases have been identified.

No travellers from the UK have been affected so far, but health authorities said it would be a good idea to make efforts to prevent catching the disease - a viral infection spread by mosquitoes. It may also be worth taking out comprehensive medical travel insurance cover in case travellers fall ill with symptoms such as fever, headache and bone, muscle and joint pain.

Dr Jane Jones, a travel-associated infection expert at the HPA, said: "Dengue fever cannot be passed from person to person and infection occurs after being bitten by the Aedes mosquito carrying the virus. To minimise the risk of being bitten it is advisable to wear appropriate clothing to cover up - such as long sleeve tops and trousers, and to use insect repellents."