Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jay Lynch, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager
Date: July 29, 2011
The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) would like to alert the public of the increased potential for mosquito-transmitted illnesses such as Dengue fever and Malaria when traveling to tropical and sub-tropical areas known to be affected by such illnesses. Affected areas are widely distributed throughout Africa, Asia, Pacific, the Americas and the Caribbean. During 2010, more than 50 countries reported evidence of Dengue transmission including 17 countries in Asia, 17 in the Americas, ten in Africa, seven in the Caribbean, and one in the Pacific. As many as 100 million people are infected in the world every year.
DPH is investigating a small cluster of Dengue-like illnesses among four of 12 missionary workers from Delaware who recently returned after 10 days in Haiti. Initial testing of these four cases is presumptive for Dengue fever. Laboratory samples from three of the four cases are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dengue Branch, for confirmatory testing.
The principal symptoms of Dengue fever are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding (e.g., nose or gums bleed, easy bruising). Generally, younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness than older children and adults.
CDC recommendations regarding travel to Dengue virus endemic areas before travel
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.