Dengue fever is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Symptoms include high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes and muscle or bone pain. Dengue can make you very sick, and severe dengue can kill.
The Aedes mosquitoes that spread dengue fever are not found in New Zealand. This means people in New Zealand with the virus will have caught it overseas. Dengue outbreaks are common in the Pacific, Asia and other tropical and sub-tropical climates, where the Aedes mosquitoes live.
If you are concerned about dengue fever, call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or see your doctor or practice nurse.
Dengue fever is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito and cannot be spread directly from person to person.
Effective vaccines to prevent dengue fever are currently not available. When travelling to countries where there are Aedes mosquitoes, the best way to avoid dengue fever is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Use insect repellent (you can apply this over sunscreen), wear long sleeves, pants and socks, and stay in places where there are mosquito screens on windows and doors, or places with air-conditioning where the doors and windows are closed.
Dengue symptoms can last from two to seven days and may include:
If symptoms keep worsening, please visit your nearest emergency centre for urgent treatment. A small number of people may get severe dengue, with their health rapidly getting worse despite a decrease in the fever.
There is no specific medicine to treat dengue fever.
To help take care of yourself, you can:
Talk to your doctor about what medicines you are taking before taking additional medicine.
Symptoms of dengue fever will typically clear up after 2-7 days. Two to five days after dengue symptoms have begun, a small number of people may get severe dengue, with their health rapidly getting worse despite a decrease in the fever. If this happens, it is very serious and you will need to go to hospital for urgent treatment.
Dengue fever is a notifiable disease. This means that health professionals or laboratories will inform us when someone has it. Once we are notified about a case of dengue fever, we can investigate which country it came from and provide advice to prevent it occurring in the future.
The Auckland Regional Public Health Service also has a role in ensuring exotic mosquitoes do not become established in New Zealand.
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Last updated 5.11.2018