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Published On: Fri, Dec 21st, 2012

CDC issues travel notice for Madeira Island, offers recommendations to prevent dengue fever

Aedes aegypti  Image/CDC

Aedes aegypti Image/CDC

Because of the dengue fever outbreak on Madeira Island, located some 600 miles from the European continent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising travelers to the Portuguese island to protect themselves from mosquito bites, according to a CDC notice released Dec. 20.

According to the Portuguese Ministry of Health, as of Dec. 9, there has been 2,050 cases of dengue infection from the Autonomous Region of Madeira since the first cases were reported in early October.

There have been 58 cases of dengue reported in European travelers returning from Madeira. The CDC is not advising against travel to Madeira at this time.

There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent dengue. The CDC  offers travelers the following preventive measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites:

  • Prevent mosquito bites
    • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
    • Use an appropriate insect repellent as directed
    • Use products with the following active ingredients. Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection.
      • DEET
      • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
      • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD
      • IR3535 (Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus)
    • Always use insect repellent as directed.
      • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
      • Reapply as directed.
    • Follow package directions for using repellent on children
    • Use permethrin productsExternal Web Site Icon on clothing and gear. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
    • Stay and sleep in screened or air-conditioned rooms
    • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.
  • If you are bitten by mosquitoes:
    • Avoid scratching mosquito bites
    • Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce itching.
  • If you feel sick and think you may have dengue:
    • Talk to your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you develop a fever during or in the 2 weeks after travel.
    • Get lots of rest and drink plenty of liquids.
    • Take medicine to control your fever and reduce your pain. Use acetaminophen (Tylenol). Do not take medicine that contains aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil®), or naproxen (Aleve).
    • Avoid spreading the disease by preventing more mosquito bites.
    • See a doctor right away if you have intense stomach pain, repeated vomiting, or bleeding from the nose and gums.

Dengue fever is a disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses (DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3, or DENV 4). The viruses are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito.

The principal symptoms of dengue fever are high fever that lasts from 2 to 7 days, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding.

More serious and life threatening forms of dengue include dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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