In the months since its release in the UK, we have seen a huge demand for the new Dengue vaccine, Qdenga.
For those with experience of the disease, the news of its licensing has been much anticipated and we are proud to be one of the first clinics in the UK to offer the vaccine.
What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue is a viral infection that is spread through the bite of an infected aedes mosquito, a species easily recognisable by its striped legs. It occurs in over 120 countries worldwide, mainly in the tropics and sub-tropics, and is the second most common cause of fever in the returning traveller.
The most seriously impacted regions are the Americas, South-East Asia, and Western Pacific, with Asia accounting for around 70% of the world’s disease burden.
It is also spreading to new areas, including Europe, where outbreaks have been increasing in recent years. Read more about this in our recent blog, Dengue Fever in Europe: Temperature Risk.
Since it is transmitted from person to person, via the mosquito vector, it is of particular concern in populated, urban areas.
What are the symptoms of Dengue Fever?
Whilst most cases are asymptomatic, some will develop a severe flu like illness that can require hospitalisation. In rare cases, this will be life threatening.
Common symptoms include;
a high fever,
pain behind the eyes,
vomiting and rash.
There are four serotypes of Dengue virus; for those infected by one type, a subsequent infection is more likely to be life threatening. The severe type of Dengue usually starts a few days after the initial symptoms began. After feeling a bit better, symptoms suddenly return and can include severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting and bleeding.
Approximately 1 in 20 patients with Dengue will progress into the severe form of the disease.
Dengue Fever Vaccination
Historically, the only protection we could provide was advice surrounding mosquito bite avoidance. With the arrival of Qdenga, we now have the option of a vaccination which provides safe and effective protection.
Studies have shown Qdenga to offer 80% protection from the first dose, with long term immunity achieved after the second.
Who should get vaccinated?
Qdenga can be safely given to those who have previously had the disease, and it is especially important for this group. We would also encourage frequent or long stay travellers to consider the vaccine. The vaccine is licensed for the prevention of Dengue in individuals from 4 years of age and requires two doses, to be given three months apart.
It is a live vaccine, so it’s not suitable for everyone. To discuss your suitability with one of our specialist travel nurses, please book a travel consultation online, or call our reception team on +44 20 7353 5678.
We can usually accommodate same day bookings and suitable vaccinations can be given within the same appointment.
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