The 44-year-old holidaymaker developed dengue fever after being bitten by an infected mosquito. After returning from visiting family in Nice, France, the holidaymaker started to experience strange symptoms. It was September 2022 when the Brit experienced three days of fever, a headache behind the eyes, muscle pain and widespread pain.
With no underlying health conditions, and rightly concerned, she went to A&E.
An urgent sample was sent to the UK’s Rare Imported Pathogens Laboratory (RIPL), which confirmed she had acute dengue virus infection.
Dr Owain Donnelly, of London’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said: “This individual was part of an outbreak of over 30 locally transmitted cases in the south of France in 2022.”
Dr Donnelly added: “Surveillance and reporting mechanisms are important in ensuring we have an accurate understanding of dengue spread.
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“With climate change, particularly hotter temperatures and more rainfall, and increasing global trade and tourism, we may see more parts of Europe with the right combination of factors for dengue outbreaks.”
The NHS says the infection is “not usually serious and often gets better on its own”.
Some people may not experience any symptoms but, for those who do, it can take up to 10 days after being bitten for the signs to present themselves.
A dengu infection can lead to:
- A high temperature
- A severe headache
- Pain behind your eyes
- Muscle and joint pain
- Feeling or being sick
- Swollen glands
A blotchy rash made up of flat or slightly raised spots – this can affect large areas of your body.
The health service advises: “Call 999 or go to A&E if you have travelled to a country where dengue is found and you have symptoms of severe dengue.”
Between spring and November, dengu can be found in:
- Portugal and Madeira.
People who are infected with dengu are strongly advised to not take anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen or aspriin.
This is because “these can cause bleeding problems if you have dengue”.
The NHS adds: “If you have severe dengue, you’ll need to stay in hospital until you recover.”