A 47-year-old man, the employee of a Global Rescue client, was traveling in Asia this month and experienced symptoms consistent with dengue fever upon his return to the U.K. He placed a call to Global Rescue after a local hospital’s staff suggested he might have contracted the disease on his travels. Johns Hopkins infectious disease specialists and Global Rescue physicians reviewed his medical information and recommended further evaluation at a highly qualified facility in the area.
Asian countries are on high alert for such diagnoses, with 11 reported cases in a single week this month in the Guangdon province of China, as it prepares to host the Asian Games.
September and October have historically been peak season for dengue in the region.
Last September at this time, officials in Vietnam reported 32,000 confirmed cases on the year. In Nepal, where a large number of Global Rescue members go each year on climbing and trekking expeditions, health authorities said earlier this month that the number of dengue, leptospirosis and H1N1 cases has now reached crisis levels. The Xinhua news agency reported that the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division of Nepal’s Dept. of Health Services will set up a dedicated fever clinic in the Chitwan district to combat the epidemics.
Dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes, and can be life-threatening if the flu-like symptoms develop into a high fever. Travelers to Asia this time of year should pack, and frequently apply, insect repellant and take extra precaution by covering exposed skin. As always, travelers to Asia should be sure that all of their immunizations are up to date.
Fortunately for the member who experienced these symptoms, a diagnosis of dengue was ruled out at the receiving hospital that Global Rescue recommended. His fever has since subsided and he is now in good health at his home.