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Dengue Fever in la Reunion (Update 3)

13 Jun 2018

According to media  French public health officials report 368 cases of dengue fever in the week to 7 June 2018. This brings the total number of cases to 4292 since the start of 2018.

Transmission continues in the following areas:

West: St-Paul (2328), Le Port (388), Saint-Leu (269 cases) and Possession (273).

South: Saint-Pierre (452) and Saint-Louis (117).

In 2018, cases have also been reported in Saint-Denis (91), Le Tampon (68), l'Etang-Salé (52), Saint-Joseph (34), Les Avirons (24), Trois-Bassins (24 cases), Petite-Île (11 cases) and Saint-André (8 cases).

Advice for Travellers

Dengue is the second most common identified cause of febrile illness in returning travellers and the number of cases in travellers continues to increase. All travellers to endemic regions are potentially at risk of dengue fever and should be aware of this infection. Prevention relies on avoiding mosquito bites.

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

Methods of bite avoidance include:

• Wearing long, loose, lightly coloured clothing to cover up the skin during the day.

• The use of insect repellent containing DEET applied to any exposed skin between dawn and dusk.

• When sunscreen and DEET are used together, DEET should be applied after sunscreen. The effectiveness of repellent reduces more rapidly than sunscreen, therefore, repellent may have to be reapplied on top of sunscreen.

• The use of permethrin, impregnated mosquito nets protects against early morning bites and should also be used when sleeping during the day.

• The use of air conditioning if available and/or mesh screening of windows and doors.

• Eradication of mosquito breeding sites around accommodation/home (e.g. open containers, old tyres or flower pots that may collect water).

Vaccine

There is no vaccine against dengue fever licensed in the UK.

At present the World Health Organisation (WHO) is trialling several candidate vaccines against dengue fever.

For further information see Dengue Fever.