Dengue in Cape Verde: Is Dengue a health risk in the Cape Verde islands? Learn more about the controlled outbreak

Dengue in Cape Verde: What You Need to Know (2024)

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Exploring the reality of dengue in Cape Verde

As we emerge from the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed a global perspective shift as more people become mindful of diseases, especially while travelling. Recently, dengue fever has been in the news, thanks to spikes in Africa, Asia, as well as select countries in Europe in late 2023.

Cape Verde has also witnessed an increase in cases within November and December of 2023, with experts attributing this to a larger mosquito population than is typically seen at this time of year. With that said, authorities have recently achieved a milestone by successfully eliminating Malaria in Cape Verde, showcasing the country’s commitment to public health.

This article aims to shed light on the current situation of Dengue fever, specifically in the beautiful archipelago of Cape Verde. Our goal is to provide clear and detailed information, helping you to better understand the disease, the situation in Cape Verde, and the preventive measures that can be undertaken so that you can enjoy your time here to the fullest.

Key Takeaways from This Article:

  • Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease that saw global spikes in cases towards the end of 2023. The WHO estimates 100-400 million global infections from mosquito bites annually.
  • Cape Verde witnessed an increase in dengue fever cases in November and December 2023 due to a larger than normal mosquito population for that time of year. Cape Verdean authorities are taking proactive measures to help reduce further infections.

Dengue Fever – What You Need to Know

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection, and its symptoms range from mild fever to severe flu-like illness. Towards the end of 2023, we witnessed a global increase in the disease – the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 100 and 400 million people become infected annually via mosquito bites [1].

While not as prevalent in Europe as it is in Asia and Africa, in 2023 there were cases reported in Italy (Lake of Garda), as well as France and Spain [2]. The majority of the cases were noted to have occurred in urban areas, which is not surprising as certain species of mosquito tend to thrive in this type of environment.

Throughout many countries in Africa, malaria tends to be more of a pressing disease when compared to dengue fever. However, there are still multiple countries that are experiencing outbreaks of the disease, including Burkina Faso, which in 2023 had an estimated 68,346 probable cases. Comparatively, Cape Verde had 193 probable causes [3].

Don’t forget: Bug spray is your best defence against mosquitos. We recommend this Jungle Fever bug spray!

Dengue Fever in Cape Verde

Like many other countries in Africa, the Cape Verde archipelago has experienced cases of dengue fever cases over the years, however the only major dengue outbreak took place in 2009, where 21,000 cases were recorded, all of which were on Santiago Island [4]. However, of this number there were just 6 fatalities, showcasing just how effective measures are at treating those who have contracted the disease.

Due in part to environmental factors causing an increase in mosquito numbers, Cape Verde is already tackling the issue in 2024 by providing advice to its citizens, as well as implementing vector control strategies to curb mosquito numbers. Reducing bodies of stagnant, contaminated water, as well as using insecticide-treated nets, are just a couple of methods used to tackle mosquito populations.

Hospitals and health centres across Santiago, as well as the other islands, have been provided with the necessary guidance and information, with the aim of spotting potential cases and implementing proper procedures.

Tips for Staying Safe while Travelling

Those who are travelling to the Cape Verde islands should take appropriate steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites while in the country – we have listed several tips for staying safe while travelling in Cape Verde below:

1. Mosquito Protection: When travelling in Cape Verde, safeguard yourself against dengue fever by prioritizing mosquito protection. Opt for light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing and long pants to minimize exposed skin and reduce the risk of mosquito bites.

2. Dengue vaccination: There are now dengue vaccinations available throughout many European countries. We advise seeking advice from your doctor or GP as to whether this is right for you.

3. Avoid Peak Mosquito Activity: Mitigate the risk of dengue exposure by avoiding outdoor activities during peak mosquito activity times, which are typically during early morning and late afternoon. If outdoor activities are necessary during these periods, take extra precautions such as wearing protective clothing and applying mosquito repellent as mentioned above.

4. Window and Bed Netting: Stay protected against mosquitoes by ensuring that your windows are closed, or that your accommodation is equipped with window and bed netting.

Discover More: Travelling to Cape Verde soon? Take a look at our top tips for staying safe in Cape Verde.

Summary

Moving forward into 2024, Cape Verde authorities look forward with a sense of informed awareness and proactive engagement. The recent spikes in dengue cases in late 2023 have reminded us of the ever-evolving nature of infectious diseases, emphasizing the importance of staying vigilant in the future.

With that said, Cape Verde’s success in eliminating Malaria is a testament to the nation’s commitment to public health, providing a positive backdrop against the challenges posed by dengue. We wish you a pleasant visit to Cape Verde!

FAQs (Perguntas e Respostas)

  • Is dengue fever common in Cape Verde, and are there recent cases?

    Dengue fever is not endemic to Cape Verde, but there have been recent cases, especially with global spikes in late 2023. It’s essential to stay informed and take preventive measures.

  • How can I protect myself from dengue while travelling in Cape Verde?

    Protect yourself by using mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in accommodations with screened windows. Additionally, participate in community efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

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