Dengue in the AmericasUpdated June 17, 2016
Released: June 16, 2016
Travel Health Notice
Dengue is a disease spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito and is caused by one of four types of dengue viruses. Dengue can cause severe flu-like symptoms and in some cases, may lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal. There is no vaccine available in Canada or medication that protects against dengue.
Dengue fever occurs in most tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Countries affected by the rainy season expect to have an increase in dengue cases during that time. Dengue remains a public health problem in the Americas despite efforts to stop outbreaks and lessen their impact.
In 2015, the Americas and Caribbean region reported more than 2.5 million probable and confirmed dengue cases. More than 1.5 million of the cases occurred in Brazil. As of April 2016, Brazil reported nearly double the number of dengue cases for the same time period in 2015. A significant increase in the number of suspected and confirmed cases is also being reported in Argentina, Costa Rica and Paraguay when compared to the same time period in 2015. In February 2016, Uruguay reported the country’s first case of dengue fever.
The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travellers protect themselves from mosquito bites when travelling to areas where dengue may occur.
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times, as the dengue virus is transmitted by a mosquito that can bite in daylight and evening hours. This includes the use of insect repellant and protective clothing.
- If you develop symptoms similar to dengue when you are travelling or after you return, see a health care provider and tell them where you have been travelling or living.