Dengue in Sri Lanka?
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Sep 10, 2012 7:32 PM Last Post By: dunetz
Sep 2, 2012 10:23 AM
Sep 2, 2012 8:47 PM
1There is one other thing you can do, and that is go for a test quickly if you fall ill with possible symptoms. Dengue usually kills when people think they just have a nasty flu and delay testing. Dengue lowers the platelet levels in your blood, so a simple blood test can tell you whether you are likely to be suffering from dengue. Then the only thing they can do is monitor this and give a blood transfusion if the levels drop very low. Symptoms include really sore back, maybe joints, maybe head. Fever as well, but it might not be high. Eventually you get a characteristic rash, but if you are really sick then it is too late for help by this stage. It's nasty and not uncommon these days, so do cover-up and use repellents.
Sep 3, 2012 4:05 AM
2Any suggestion for type of repellents? Are they readily available in Sri Lankan towns?
Sep 3, 2012 4:18 AM
3Bring high-strength DEET (at least 50%) repellents; also bring anti-histamine creams in case you are bitten. I've lived here for over 2 years and never (yet) had dengue, despite being bitten occasionally. There are government campaigns to combat dengue but it's still prevalent. However, I think #2 is being a bit alarmist: it's dengue haemorragic fever which kills. Usually (but not always!) you have to get a couple of doses of dengue before it becomes the full, worst-case scenario, type.
There is no vaccine against dengue, so as both #1 and #2 say, cover up - ankles, elbows and wrists are common targets; calves if you wear shorts. Dengue is carried by the aedes mosquito which flies during the day; the anopheles mosquito, which carries malaria in infected areas (not most of SL) flies in the evening and at night. Oh, and be aware that locals (despite being bitten) don't seem to have the same swelling and itching of the bite as Westerners, hence the lack of anti-histamine creams on sale.
Sep 4, 2012 1:31 AM
4I live in Kandy and my landlord has just gotten over dengue fever. He is not sure where he got bit but either Colombo or Kandy.His house is surrounded by trees.
I do get mozzies in my bedroom at times and get bit but do not use deet or a net.
Been here for a year and still not caught dengue fever.
Sep 9, 2012 11:31 AM
Sep 9, 2012 9:51 PM
6Hi. Good advice from # 1 and 4, but rather irresponsible downplay from # 5 and 6 !!
Problem with dengue is that there are for types (strains) of the disease. If you get it for the first time, it is just very unpleasant but not too risky for a healthy person - yet, the disease passed through makes you immune to the same type but much more sensitive to the others; your immunity system is somehow slow to react and the fever rather often gets hemorragic, i.e. really dangerous (that is what # 2 was reffering to). There is more than one type of the desease in every country but they are definitely different in different parts of the world - not good for keen travellers.
My wife got the disease in Varanasi, India (there was no epidemy there that time, but the disease is endemic anywhere in warm climates) and she felt so bad that we had to cut our holiday short. The current epidemy in Sri Lanka and their lack of success in fighting it makes me rather unhappy, as we go to Sri Lanka for holiday this December.
So, my suggestion for OP is to take the precautions given in posts #1 and 4 - it is not necessary to scrap your plans, but dengue is not a good souvenir for your further life.
Good luck to everyone.
Sep 10, 2012 3:13 AM
7Just a tip re DEET products - if you can find anything other than Jungle Formula but which has an equally high (50% minimum) DEET content, do. JF smells awful. In the UK, Boots do their own high-strength brand which is ok. Also be aware that these repellents ruin leather, so put them on your ankles before putting on shoes and keep ladies' handbags away from your arms :)
Sep 10, 2012 7:32 PM
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