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Dengue fever

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Sydney, Australia
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Dengue fever

Hi everyone

My family and I are considering of travelling to the Cook Islands (6 days in Rarotonga and 7 days in Aitutaki). While doing some research we read about the 3 reported cases of Dengue fever in May. I have been trying to find out whether there have been any other cases or if those 3 were the only ones, but I don't seem to find anything on the web.

I know mosquito repellents are the only way to go etc. and as we will be travelling with our 2 young children (5 and 2) who do get bitten more than us, we do worry more than "usual". We would be going at the end of September/beginning of October.

My questions are:

1. any more cases of dengue after the first 3 reported in May?

2. how likely are we to have rainy/"mosquito" weather in Sept/Oct?

3. is the period in general a good time to go?

Thank you all very much!!!

Hobart, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vanuatu
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3,547 posts
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11. Re: Dengue fever

“Personally I don’t see what the big fuss is” Wow that is just so misinformed and really, really bad advice.

An infection can be acquired via a single bite and they mostly bite during the day - it is not just outside as well - they like dark areas like bathrooms

Dengue Fever is an infectious tropical disease. So what’s so hard about slathering yourself in mosquito repellent, inside your accomodation using the mosquito plug-ins and avoiding the risk so you can have a great holiday?

For those interested the characteristic symptoms of dengue are sudden-onset fever, headache (typically located behind the eyes), muscle and joint pains, and a rash. The alternative name "break-bone fever", comes from the associated muscle and joint pains. The course of infection is divided into three phases: febrile, critical, and recovery.

In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

Subsequent infection with a different type of dengue infected mosquito increases the risk of severe complications. There is no vaccine.

The incubation period (time between exposure and onset of symptoms) ranges from 3–14 days, but most often it is 4–7 days. Therefore, travelers returning from endemic areas are unlikely to have dengue if fever or other symptoms start more than 14 days after arriving home.

Dengue has become a global problem - not just a Cook Island one - it can be found in Queensland in Australia and the NT. It is certainly something you shouldn’t take lightly but is easy to combat.

I hope your friend is on the mend CowgirlNZ

Suzi

Edited: 4:58 am, August 02, 2012
Tauranga
11 posts
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12. Re: Dengue fever

Thanks for that ,what is the best medicine to take for this ,so you can have it on supply to take over with you apart from taking all over stuff eg like insect repellent as well, not to be over concerned but too be prepared.

Thank you

Tauranga
11 posts
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13. Re: Dengue fever

Hi

Thanks for that, do you know what medicine would be good to have on supply to take over with us not too be over concerned just to be wise apart from the use of insect repellent and all that, as that goes with out saying.

Regards

Tauranga
11 posts
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14. Re: Dengue fever

Hi

Does anyone no if you are able to take flyspray on an airplane.

Regards

Hobart, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vanuatu
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15. Re: Dengue fever

There is no medicine to prevent Dengue Fever. I find the best repellent is tropical strength and I go for one with DEET - some people don't like Deet as they think it is poison - I like getting sick less! I figure for a short period it is not going to have a long lasting effect. I think Aero guard Tropical strength does not have Deet. Yes you can take on the plane if it is in your checked in luggage. Interestingly one of the locals on Aitutaki told us that he felt the roll on repellent lasted longer than the spray on one. Also don’t forget – sunscreen first and then repellent

Regards

Suzi

Aitutaki, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Aitutaki
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16. Re: Dengue fever

I've been using a product that is 99 percent DEET for years and have had no after effects. I find the best way to use spays is to spray it in the palm of your hand and then wipe it on. You use as lot less that way. If you are using a product with DEET, be sure to wash your hands after applying it and keep it away from your mouth and eyes. If you are hot and perspirey don't put any on your forehead as it will run into your eyes. The Dengue carrying mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and late afternoon so spray yourself accordingly.

The other thing I recommend is to bring some Cortisone cream or other anti-itch ointment for bites. This doesn't prevent diseases, but if you scratch open your bites in the tropics, you open yourself up to all kinds of nasty critters. So given that, you might also want to bring along some kind of anti-infection ointment as well and treat any scratches or cuts immediately.

I have lived on Aitutaki for over 16 years and have never caught Dengue but then I have been vigilant in using repellent. It's not something to loose a lot of sleep over but it is something to take very seriously. I have friends who have gotten it and it's not nice.

Please don't let all this talk about Dengue put you off. The mosquitoes aren't born with the virus, they have to bite someone who is already infected in order to pass it on. So even if you do get bitten, there's not much chance of you getting it. But do spray yourself religiously.

Edited: 1:21 pm, August 03, 2012
Hobart, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vanuatu
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17. Re: Dengue fever

Good advice and insight Puapii-teacher. I agree with you that all this talk about Dengue should not put off visitors - it is a global occurrence - but it is good to arrive fully informed and prepared in how to prevent getting bitten.

Regards

Suzi

nz
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75 posts
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18. Re: Dengue fever

Totally agree - it should not put you off. Just be sensible and aware. It's not as if Dengue is just in Raro, it is in lots of tropical destinations so the same applies all over - when in doubt, take care!

The deet based are the most effective and if you are only using it for 14 days out of 365 then I would be inclined to go for deet every time. It's like the whole nanoparticle/sunscreen thing - the best at stopping you getting melanoma are the ones with nasty nano's.... you've just got to weigh up your choices! Besides, you could be hit by a bus tomorrow! (hope not!).

Have a great time, Lovfiji.

19. Re: Dengue fever

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