A dengue fever vaccine is in development, but isn't generally available. If you're living or traveling in an area where dengue fever is known to be, the best way to avoid dengue fever is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes that carry the disease.
If you are living or traveling in tropical areas where dengue fever is common, these tips may help reduce your risk of mosquito bites:
Sep. 30, 2011
- Stay in air-conditioned or well-screened housing. It's particularly important to keep mosquitoes out at night.
- Reschedule outdoor activities. Avoid being outdoors at dawn, dusk and early evening, when more mosquitoes are out.
- Wear protective clothing. When you go into mosquito-infested areas, wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and shoes.
- Use mosquito repellent. Permethrin can be applied to your clothing, shoes, camping gear and bed netting. You can also buy clothing made with permethrin already in it. For your skin, use a repellent containing at least a 10 percent concentration of DEET.
- Reduce mosquito habitat. The mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus typically live in and around houses, breeding in standing water that can collect in such things as used automobile tires. Reduce the breeding habitat to lower mosquito populations.
- Frequently asked questions: Dengue. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/Dengue/faqFacts/index.html. Accessed July 21, 2011.
- Rothman AL. Clinical presentation and diagnosis of dengue virus infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 21, 2011.
- Nathan MB, et al. Dengue: Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2009. Accessed July 27, 2011.
- Vaughn DW, et al. Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever. In: Mandell JE, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..X0001-X--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed July 27, 2011.
- Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs117/en. Accessed July 27, 2011.
- Bell M. Viral hemorrhagic fevers. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed July 27, 2011.
- Rothman AL. Prevention and treatment of dengue virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed Aug. 3, 2011.