Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Outbreak Notice: Dengue in Portugal

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently posted a travel health update for the current health situation in Madeira, Portugal. Over 2,000 cases of dengue fever have been reported since October 2012.

Travelers can be infected with dengue fever if they are bitten by a mosquito infected with the virus. Symptoms can take weeks to develop and typically consist of fever, vomiting, headache, rashes and muscle pains.

While the CDC has not advised against all travel to Madeira, they encourage travelers to take the following measures to protect themselves:

– Wear long sleeves, pants and hats
– Use insect repellents that provide long-lasting protection
– Sleep indoors
– Consult a physician if dengue fever symptoms arise during or after travel
– Take medicine to control a fever and reduce pain

Many other diseases have similar symptoms, so early diagnosis of dengue fever is important. Those who have traveled to tropical destinations within two weeks of the fever’s onset should consult a physician immediately. Travelers may be able to use their travel insurance for the emergency medical benefits to cover costs associated with treatment if symptoms manifest.

For more information on this travel health update, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.