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Southeast Asia forum

Dengue, a real concern or not?

Posted by TonyM on 25/6/2013 at 07:36

Hi all,

Some friends of mine recently came back from Bali, stayed in Legian and now back home but have been diagnosed with a mild case of Dengue fever, I'm hearing its in epidemic proportions and everywhere throughout many SEA countries, is this true and if diagnosed does it prevent you from ever returning? Clarification please....

#1 TonyM has been a member since 22/5/2012. Posts: 31

Posted by daawgon on 25/6/2013 at 13:07

All I can add is that I am prone to mozzie bites (I sweat heavily), have made 5 recent trips to SEA, and have had no problems. I don't do swamps (I understand that Dengue is in urban areas), but there's no need for paranoia. The internet has the tendency to really blow these things way out of proportion!

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Posted by somtam2000 on 25/6/2013 at 21:00 admin

Sorry to hear about your friend.

I've had dengue (also caught it in Bali) and I wouldn't recommend it, but likewise it wouldn't stop me from travelling (or living) in the region. You can read more about it, along with treatment and other's experiences etc, here.

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,941
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Posted by goonistik on 25/6/2013 at 21:03

Dengue is endemic to SEA. While you can get dengue any time of the year, there is usually an uptick in the number of cases during the rainy season because mosquitoes have more breeding grounds. The rainy season has started so that is why you are hearing news about more dengue.

Thailand seems to be having a bad dengue season this year. According to this Bangkok Post report, they are expecting 100,000 cases for this year. Now take into consideration that Thailand has a population of about 70 million. So the chances of you getting dengue in Thailand are low, especially if you practice mosquito avoidance.

However, other SEA countries are not reporting an increased number of dengue cases. See the trends here:

I can't find a similar report for the WHO SEARO office that covers the other SEA countries like Thailand, Indonesia, etc.

If you get dengue, it doesn't stop you from traveling to dengue endemic regions of the world. That would include Africa, South and Central America and the other parts of Asia like South China. However, you will want to take precautions because the second time you get dengue is usually worst than the first.

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Posted by TonyM on 26/6/2013 at 02:07

Hey thanks for taking time to reply and give your feedback, very informative.

#5 TonyM has been a member since 22/5/2012. Posts: 31

Posted by somsai on 26/6/2013 at 09:19

Laos is having a bad year of it. This week the # of new cases has stabilized at the main hospital in Vientiane. My wife, her sister, and our brother in law have all come down with it in the past 2 weeks. Only serious cases go to the hospital. My bout of ten years ago was similar to my wife's. A couple days of chills, strong fever, and bone aches, followed by days of more than usual lethargy.

From VT Times June 17
The high number of cases indicated dengue may soon reach epidemic proportions in Laos, a senior official in the Lao Ministry of Health warned in a speech during the celebrations of ASEAN Dengue Day here on Tuesday.
"If there are no effective actions undertaken, there will be serious economic and social consequences for Lao PDR including deaths, overloaded central, provincial and district health care facilities, and debilitated workers due to illness,
I pretty much don't worry about malaria. Dengue has my grudging respect.

#6 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 566
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