What do I need to know before I travel?
Public Health Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

Advice on Dengue Fever if Travelling Abroad

23 May 2024

The World Health Organization have advised that dengue is becoming a growing concern globally.  Since the beginning of 2023 there has been a significant increase in dengue cases and associated deaths being reported from countries with an established risk of dengue (endemic).

  • Around four billion people in 130 countries have been identified at risk of infection. 
  • More than 5 million dengue cases and over 5 000 dengue-associated deaths have been recorded across all worldwide regions including Asia, Central America, South America and the Caribbean

Dengue has spread into regions previously considered to be free of dengue. Although dengue is not widespread in Europe, several European countries reported locally acquired cases of dengue in 2023, including France, Italy and Spain.

For further information on cases and outbreaks, see the News section.

Advice for Travellers

Dengue is an infection spread by mosquito bites that can cause a severe flu-like illness. Dengue is commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide.

The best way to avoid infection is to prevent mosquito bites.

  • The mosquitoes that transmit dengue bite during the day, from sunrise until sunset.
  • During these hours your skin should be covered up with long, loose fitting clothing.
  • Insect repellent should be applied to any exposed areas of skin, and reapplied as suggested by the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • See the Mosquito bite avoidance page for further information.

A dengue fever vaccine called Qdenga® is licenced in the UK.

  • The vaccine is only recommended for some travellers that have been infected with dengue in the past
  • You should arrange a travel health consultation if you wish to discuss if the dengue vaccine may be suitable for you

A vaccine for some people living in dengue-affected countries (and who have had dengue infection before) may be available in those countries.

Dengue is the second most commonly identified cause of fever-related illness in travellers returning from abroad; the number of cases in travellers continues to increase.

  • If you develop a high temperature (fever) either during or after travelling to an affected area, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible and make sure you give details of your recent travel history.

Further information: