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Dengue fever - and travel to the tropics

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I am pulling out my hair at the moment.

 

I booked a trip to Costa Rica for November..  I do not have travel insurance - it is pricey and I have never canceled a trip before.  No lectures - I took my chances, may lose out on it, and that is that.  

 

I was looking up health risks to Costa Rica (which, yes, I should have done beforehand - but as one of the safest and more affluent central American countries, I thought I was good to go).  Ha!  Costa Rica is having a Dengue fever outbreak, which is a nasty disease, and it is scaring the crap out of me.  I am trying to get current stats on it, but am failing somewhat.  I do feel like I am in wait and see mode. 

 

So - anyone have a trips to the tropics planned lately?  Dengue is in a lot of tropical places.  Does the outbreak scare you?  Does it scare you enough to consider changing your plans?  Any experiences with Dengue?

 

Thanks!

 

kathy

post #2 of 2

Last year when I was considering possible vacation destinations I was getting pretty excited about Puerto Rico until I read that they were having a dengue fever outbreak.  That wasn't the only reason I decided against Puerto Rico but it was a major consideration.  I've had dengue fever.  (I got it in Maui, of all places.  They were having an outbreak at the time.)  There are four different serotypes of dengue and once you've had one, you can't get that one again, but if you get one of the others you're more likely to get the dangerous hemorrhagic form.  So I really want to avoid getting dengue fever again.  And I don't want my kids to get it, because it was really not a fun experience.  But I was surprised to read recently that many - probably the majority - of people who are infected with the dengue fever virus are asymptomatic or have only very mild symptoms.  It sounds like that's especially likely with kids. 

 

So maybe I've been more scared of it than I needed to be.  I had been under the impression that my case was a relatively mild one, but apparently it's even milder in a lot of people.  It wasn't really all that bad for me.  I was out of work for a week, in bed most of the time, but not feeling really terrible, just not well enough to do anything.  The worst part was when my palms and the soles of my feet started itching and it prevented me from sleeping.  That was just for a day or two at the end of the week.  After that I was well enough to go back to work, but just barely.  I was tired and my thinking was fuzzy.  In my first week back, I remember being so exhausted one day when I got to work that I had to lie down and have a nap, and I went home early a time or two.  And I was depressed for at least a few weeks, which is apparently common after dengue fever.  In some ways, the recovery period was worse than the week in bed. 

 

If I already had a vacation booked, I would go and just try to use plenty of insect repellant and avoid the most mosquito-y areas and times of day.

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