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Dengue in la Reunion

27 Feb 2019

According to French public health authorities in la Reunion(in French) the dengue outbreak that began in July 2018 continues. There have been 929 cases from 01 January to 17 February 2019, with 22 of these cases being hospitalised.

Nineteen out of the island's 24 communes have reported dengue cases since the start of the outbreak. In the week ending 17 February, communes reporting the greatest numbers of cases are La Rivière Saint-Louis (41), Saint-Louis (39), Les Avirons (19), Saint-Pierre (19), Ravine des Cabris (12), L’Etang-Salé (11) and Piton Saint-Leu (9).

Advice for Travellers

All travellers to regions where dengue occurs 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.