Dengue Fever Warning For Western Australian Travellers

WA Health urges all Western Australians planning trips to Bali, Indonesia, to be aware of the surge in dengue fever cases in the region and take steps to prevent infection.

Western Australia has recorded 138 cases of dengue fever in 2024, the majority of which were acquired in Indonesia. This is twice the number of cases compared to the same period last year.

An increase in dengue cases was observed globally in 2023, with Indonesia reporting over 60,000 cases of dengue fever in 2024.

Dengue virus is transmitted to people via the bite of an infected mosquito and while most people will have mild or no symptoms, those who are infected a second time are at greater risk of severe disease which may be fatal.

The Communicable Disease Control’s Acting Director, Dr Jelena Maticevic, said the best defence against dengue fever is to protect against mosquito bites when visiting Bali or other high-risk countries.

“Dengue fever is spread through mosquitoes which tend to bite during the day and are usually found around buildings in urban or semi-urban areas.” Dr Maticevic said.

“Symptoms of dengue fever may include fever, rash, headache, fatigue, and joint and muscle pain, with more severe disease presenting with abdominal pain, vomiting, and bleeding from the gums or nose.

“There is no specific treatment for this illness, however the risk of contracting dengue fever can be significantly reduced by protecting against mosquitoes when travelling overseas.”

Travellers can take the appropriate steps to prevent mosquito bites during their overseas holidays by following these steps:

  • Avoiding areas of high mosquito activity.
  • Wearing long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing.
  • Applying a chemical-based insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), also known as PMD.
  • Sleeping under a bed net, preferably one treated with an insecticide.
  • Closing all doors and windows if they do not have insect screens.
  • Requesting hotel rooms be sprayed for mosquitoes if you notice them.

Prior to overseas travel, Western Australians are advised to research their holiday destination and know the health risks. Visit Smart Traveller

Visit a health professional if you become sick while travelling overseas.

If you become sick on your return to Western Australia, see your doctor immediately and inform them of your recent travel history.

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