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SASTM Newsflash - Dengue in Angola


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SASTM Newsflash

Dengue in Angola

Updated: June 03, 2013

What is the current situation?

An outbreak of dengue has been reported in the Luanda Province of Angola.  The capital city of Luanda (in Luanda Province) is Angola’s largest seaport, with an estimated population of 5-20 million people.

More than 200 cases of dengue and 1 fatal dengue case have been confirmed. More than 30 dengue cases in Portugal are associated with travel to Angola. CDC, the World Health Organization, the Angolan Ministry of Health, and the European Union are working together to respond to the outbreak. CDC recommends that travelers to Angola take steps to prevent mosquito bites in order to protect themselves from dengue.

What is dengue?

Dengue is an illness caused by a virus that is spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, and pain in the eyes, joints, and muscles. Symptoms can take up to 2 weeks to develop after you are bitten by an infected mosquito, but usually end in a week. In severe cases, symptoms may include intense stomach pain, repeated vomiting, and difficulty breathing, becoming drowsy or irritable and bleeding from the nose or gums. See a doctor right away if you have these symptoms.

Travelers who go to tropical and subtropical regions are at risk of getting dengue. These areas include:  the Caribbean, Central and South America, Western and South Pacific Islands, Australia, South and Southeast Asia and Africa. Dengue is more where people live, both urban and rural, and is not usually seen at altitudes above 4,500 feet (1,500 meters). The mosquito that carries the dengue virus bites both day and night and is commonly found indoors as well as outdoors.

How can travelers protect themselves?

There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent dengue. Travelers can protect themselves from dengue by preventing mosquito bites. 

Prevent mosquito bites

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent as directed

§         Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection.

  • 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 o children
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
    • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See the product information to find out how long the protection will last.
    • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
    • 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.

Clinician Information:

Early and proper diagnosis of dengue is important, as many other diseases may mimic dengue. Health care providers should consider dengue, malaria, chikungunya and leptospirosis, depending on the itinerary and exposure, in the differential diagnosis of patients who have fever and a history of travel to tropical areas during the 2 weeks before symptom onset.

Communicated by: CDC




South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM)

Phone: +27 (011) 025 3297
Fax: +27 087 9411350 / 1
E-mail: admin@sastm.org.za
Website: www.sastm.org.za
Postal address: SASTM, PO Box 8216, Greenstone, 1616, South Africa
Physical address: SASTM, 27 Linksfield Road Block 2 a Dunvegan Edenvale
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The content and opinions are neither pre-screened nor endorsed by the SASTM. The content should neither be interpreted nor quoted as inherently accurate or authoritative.

The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

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