Dengue fever or 'break bone fever' is a viral illness that is transmitted by the day-biting, Aedes mosquitoes. According to the World Health Organization, it has become a major international public health concern in recent decades. It is endemic in approximately 100 countries, threatening about 40% (2.5 billion) of the world's population.
Photo: James Gathany, CDC
Dengue occurs in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. It does not occur in the UK but cases have been reported that are associated with travel to endemic areas. Anyone who suspects they have dengue infection should see their GP and remember to tell him/her about any recent travel.
Health professionals should be alert to the possibility of dengue in those who have recently returned from an endemic area presenting with a flu-like illness, and send the appropriate samples (with a full clinical and travel history) to the PHE Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory.