Worldwide Medical Insurance News: Dengue fever an increasing problem in India -
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Worldwide Medical Insurance News: Dengue fever an increasing problem in India

Expatriates should be aware that there is currently a dengue fever epidemic sweeping India, which poses a potential threat to those living in the country.

There has so far not been an official health advisory issued, but some officials are calling for one as the situation worsens.

It is not known exactly how many people have been infected with the disease, which is carried by mosquitoes, as large numbers in especially rural areas going undiagnosed.

All states in India baring Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim have reported cases of the disease, with statistics reaching the highest levels ever.

This is according to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), which is trying to monitor the severity of the situation.

Official data from Delhi suggests that the latest outbreak in the city has seen 1,315 confirmed cases, with 38 more people having just been diagnosed.

In a recent article for the New York Times a dengue research specialist, Dr Scott Halstead, said that there may be as many as 37 million people in India with the disease.

Expatriates should be aware that dengue fever cannot be passed from person to person, but with so many people suffering, there is an increased chance of being bitten by an infected mosquito.

This means that it is important to cover up with trousers and long sleeve garments, as well as insect repellent, especially in the evenings.

Such precautions have the added benefit of protecting against malaria and the irritation of other insect bites.

Anyone with symptoms, which are similar to those associated with the flu, as well as headaches and severe muscle pain, should consult a doctor.

As the average incubation period is between four and seven days, some expats may not find their symptoms developing until up to 14 days after being bitten.

Dengue fever is a serious disease and most recently those living on the Portuguese island of Madeira have been advised of an outbreak.

It seems that the situation in India may be far more widespread however, so it is important to be prepared.

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