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Published on 13 May 2011

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UK dengue fever cases increase


The Health Protection Agency (HPA) revealed that there were 406 reports of the disease last year, 166 more than in 2009.

The largest proportion of new cases were reported by people who had been to India (21%, or 84 cases), closely followed by Thailand (15%, or 61 cases).

People contract the disease through mosquito bites and experts revealed there was also a 34% rise in chikungunya cases, spread in the same way. This represented a climb from 59 cases in 2009 to 79 last year, while nearly 50% of cases were also associated with trips to India.

With these findings, more travellers might be encouraged to ensure they have adequate travel insurance and take the necessary precautions before visiting a hotspot for the diseases.

The dengue virus causes severe flu-like symptoms, such as a high temperature or fever, severe headache, muscle and joint pain, reddening of the face and skin rash. There is no vaccine to protect against the virus, and people usually recover within a few weeks.

Chikungunya also causes flu-like symptoms and joint pains that can last for several months.

Both diseases are endemic in Asia and Africa. Dengue is also common in South America, Central America and the Caribbean, and the Western Pacific.

Copyright © Press Association 2011


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