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Dengue in Sri Lanka

06 Mar 2019

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Healthreports ongoing transmission of dengue. From 01 January to 06 March 2019, 9477 cases have been reported. All areas of the country are affected.

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

No vaccine against dengue fever has been licensed for use in the UK.

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

For further information see Dengue Fever.