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Dengue Fever: Global Update

From:  Public Health Agency of Canada: Travel Health Notices: June 1, 2012

Oubreaks caused by the four types of dengue virus have become increasingly frequent over the past 25 years. About 40% of the world’s population lives in areas where there is a risk of dengue fever.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommends that travellers protect themselves from mosquito bites when travelling to areas where dengue fever may occur.

Dengue fever is the most common viral disease spread to humans by mosquitoes. It can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.

There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.

Where is dengue fever a concern?

Dengue fever occurs in most tropical and subtropical areas of the world, predominantly in urban and semi-urban areas.

It is widespread in parts of Central and South America; the Caribbean; South and Southeast Asia; Western, Eastern, and Central Africa; and Oceania.


  • So far this year, dengue activity is stable for most countries in Southeast Asia. Cambodia and Laos have reported more cases in 2012 when compared to the same time period in 2011.


  • Australia has reported more cases in 2012 than in 2011 for the same time period. However, the number of reported cases has been decreasing since January.
  • The Republic of the Marshall Islands experienced an outbreak of dengue in October 2011.

South America, Central America, and the Caribbean:

The majority of countries in this region are reporting dengue activity.

  • So far this year, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela are reporting high numbers of dengue cases. 
  • In 2011, these countries reported a large number of dengue cases; Aruba, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, and Venezuela.

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