On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated a travel notice for several countries in South Asia due to an increased numbers of cases of dengue fever.
Health officials say travelers to areas of risk should protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. The following countries are reporting higher-than-usual numbers of dengue cases, and travelers visiting these countries may be at increased risk: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste (East Timor).
Timor-Leste has reported a large increase in cases in 2022 with 2,374 total cases through February 23.
The capital city of Dili accounts for 63 percent of the cases with 1,488. 31 deaths were seen nationwide to date.
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This compares with 901 cases and 11 deaths reported in all of 2021 and 1,451 cases and 10 deaths in all of 2020.
Because dengue is spread by mosquito bites, all travelers to risk areas should prevent mosquito bites by using an EPA-registered insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors, and sleeping in an air-conditioned room or room with window screens or under an insecticide-treated bed net.
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Dengue is a disease caused by a virus spread through mosquito bites. The disease can take up to 2 weeks to develop with illness generally lasting less than a week.
Health effects from dengue include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle and joint pain, and minor bleeding.
Dengue can become severe within a few hours. Severe dengue is a medical emergency, usually requiring hospitalization.
In severe cases, health effects may include hemorrhage (uncontrolled bleeding), shock (seriously low blood pressure), organ failure, and death.