Dengue fever is circulating in the Pacific Islands and an increased number of dengue cases have been recorded mainly in the Auckland region among travellers returning from the Pacific.
Most of the cases reported from 1 November last year were from people returning from Samoa. Some cases have also been recorded in travellers returning from Fiji and Tonga.
Dengue fever is a viral disease spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Dengue fever cannot be spread from person-to-person.
In a small proportion of cases (less than five percent), severe dengue may occur, with rapid deterioration two to five days after fever has begun. People with severe dengue require hospitalisation as the disease may be life-threatening.
Stay in places with screens on windows and doors. Turn on the air conditioning if you have it as cool air keeps mosquitoes away.
Use insect sprays indoors when mosquitoes are around.
Use mosquito coils.
Wear a repellent, preferably containing diethyltoluamide (DEET). Repellents containing less than 35 percent DEET are recommended because higher concentrations are no more effective – they just work for longer – and in rare cases they can cause poisoning. Other products containing 20-25 percent picaridin and those containing about 30 percent lemon eucalyptus oil (equating to about 20 percent para-methane-diol (PMD)) are also appropriate to use. Repellents should not be applied to wounds, irritated
skin, eyes or mouth.
If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent.
Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and hats. Clothing can be treated with repellent.
Use screens on tents.
Click here for more Ministry of Health advice on avoiding mosquito bites while travelling.
Click here for an Auckland Regional Public Health Service flyer, which is aimed at people travelling to the Pacific, and gives advice on how to avoid diseases spread by mosquitoes.« Back