Dengue in Brazil
01 Apr 2019
The Brazilian Ministry of Healthhas reported 229 064 cases of dengue fever from 01 January to 17 March 2019, a 264% increase compared to the same period last year. The infection is widespread, with Tocantins, Acre, Mato Grosso do Sul, , Goiás, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and the Federal District being the areas likely to present the highest risk.
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).
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.