The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week updated its travel advice for Asia and the Pacific Islands with a special warning about countries in South Asia and dengue fever.
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Dengue is a risk in many parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands, the health agency notes. Highlighting India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in particular, they said these countries are reporting higher than usual numbers of dengue cases and travelers visiting these countries could be at increased risk.
Travelers to high-risk areas should protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites — by using an EPA-registered insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and slacks outdoors, and sleeping in an air-conditioned room or room with window screens or under an insecticide-treated bed net.
Dengue is a disease caused by a virus transmitted through mosquito bites. It can take up to 2 weeks for the disease to develop, with illness generally lasting less than a week.
The health effects of dengue include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, muscle and joint pain, and easy bleeding.
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Dengue can become severe in a matter of hours. Severe dengue fever is a medical emergency that usually requires hospitalization.
In severe cases, health effects can include hemorrhage (uncontrolled bleeding), shock (severely low blood pressure), organ failure, and death.
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