Dengue Fever Vaccination

Dengue fever is a viral illness transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

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Dengue Fever, a mosquito-borne viral infection that poses a significant health risk in many tropical and subtropical regions. This day-time feeding mosquito; favours urban areas and areas of open water e.g. items filled with rainwater; water in ponds, ditches.

Travellers to regions where dengue is prevalent should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, as the Aedes mosquitoes transmit the virus. This includes using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in accommodations with screened windows and doors. If you are planning to travel to an area with a risk of dengue, it's advisable to consult with our healthcare professionals for personalised advice on prevention measures and vaccinations.

A vaccine is available to reduce the risk of contracting dengue. This is available for use in the UK for patients aged over 4 years, travelling to endemic infected areas for an extended period of time. Each patient needs to be individually assessed for the risk, before administration to ensure the use follows current clinical guidelines.


  • Registered Travel Clinics
    Including Yellow Fever Centres
  • Private clinics with qualified specialists
    Walk-in appointments and online bookings are available
  • Anti-Malarials
    Dispensed on-site in clinic
  • Full range of Vaccines in Stock
    Including Yellow Fever, Typhoid, DTP
  • Same Day appointments
    For last minute travellers
  • CQC registered
    Registered and regulated by the Care Quality Commission
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Transmission

Dengue fever is primarily transmitted through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. These mosquitoes become infected with the dengue virus when they feed on the blood of a person already infected with the virus. The virus then multiplies within the mosquito and can be transmitted to other individuals through mosquito bites. Importantly, dengue fever is not spread from person to person directly.

What are the symptoms of dengue?

The incubation period for dengue fever typically ranges from 4 to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The severity of the symptoms can vary, and there are several forms of dengue infection:

  1. Mild Dengue Fever: Many individuals infected with the dengue virus may experience mild symptoms or be entirely asymptomatic. Common mild symptoms include fever, mild headache, and joint or muscle pain. This form of the disease is often referred to as dengue fever.
  2. Severe Dengue (Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever): In some cases, the disease can progress to severe dengue, which is characterized by more severe symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, and a rash. Severe dengue can lead to life-threatening complications such as severe bleeding, organ failure, and shock.

Prompt medical attention is essential, as untreated severe dengue can be fatal. However, with proper medical care, the death rate can be reduced to less than 1%.

Treatment

There is no specific antiviral treatment for dengue fever. Management of the disease primarily involves supportive care to alleviate symptoms. Here are some key aspects of treatment:

  1. Fluid Replacement: Adequate hydration is crucial. Patients with dengue fever are at risk of dehydration due to fever and vomiting. Rehydration through oral or intravenous fluids is essential.
  2. Pain and Fever Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) can help reduce fever and relieve pain. Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin or ibuprofen, as they can increase the risk of bleeding.
  3. Medical Monitoring: If you suspect you have dengue fever, it’s important to seek medical attention. Doctors can monitor your condition and recommend appropriate treatment.

Prevention

Preventing dengue fever primarily involves mosquito control and personal protective measures. Here are some prevention strategies:

  1. Mosquito Control: Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water in containers like flower pots, buckets, and tires. Use insecticides and mosquito nets in areas where Aedes mosquitoes are prevalent.
  2. Personal Protection: Protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved clothing and using mosquito repellents. Stay in air-conditioned or screened-in accommodations when possible.
  3. Travel Precautions: If you’re traveling to areas where dengue is endemic, take extra precautions. Stay informed about local outbreaks and follow public health recommendations.

The dengue fever vaccine is recommended for individuals travelling to or living in areas where dengue is prevalent, especially in parts of Asia, Latin America, and Africa. It’s also advised for people in frequent contact with dengue-infected areas.

The dengue vaccine is a live vaccine developed from dengue virus type 2 (DENV2) serotype. This provides protection in sero-positive patients against serotypes 1,2,3 and 4.
The Qdenga vaccine does not require blood testing before vaccination and can be used by children and adults between the age ranges of 4-65 years.
This vaccine should be considered for travellers going to countries with an indicated high risk of dengue; seropositive travellers returning home, and long-term travellers to countries with a risk of dengue.

Common and rare side effects of the dengue vaccine

Common side effects include mild fever, headache, and pain at the injection site. Rare side effects might include severe allergic reactions.

Can children have the dengue vaccine?

Yes, the dengue vaccine is approved for use in certain age groups, typically for those aged 9 to 45 years in endemic areas, but this can vary by country and vaccine.

Age range Method of Administration Number of doses
From 4 to 65 years Injection 2 doses, 2nd dose administered 3 months after 1st dose

The protection offered by the dengue vaccine can last for several years, but the exact duration can vary. Ongoing research is assessing the long-term effectiveness of the vaccine.

Currently, the need for a dengue booster dose is under research. Recommendations may vary based on evolving scientific evidence.

Dengue is commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific, Latin America, and Africa.

The cost of each dengue vaccination dose is £125. Initially, there is an additional base fee of £20 which covers time spent with one of our specially trained healthcare professionals who will carry out a risk assessment.

The dengue vaccine is not typically available on the NHS, as it is primarily recommended for use in dengue-endemic regions.

Under the age of 4 years or over the age of 65 years.

Hypersensitivity to the active substances or to any of the excipients.

A life-threatening reaction after previous administration of a vaccine containing similar components.

Vaccination should be postponed in individuals suffering from an acute severe febrile illness. The presence of a minor infection is not a contraindication.

Cautions

Immunosuppression and HIV

This is a live vaccine and contraindicated in immunosuppression and HIV conditions.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Contraindicated in both pregnancy and breastfeeding

Previous Dengue Fever Infection, vaccine can be given.

How does dengue interact with other vaccines?

The dengue vaccine can usually be administered alongside other travel vaccines, but it’s important to discuss this with a healthcare provider.

Who is not able to have the dengue vaccine?

The dengue vaccine is not recommended for people with severe allergies to any vaccine component or those with a compromised immune system. It’s also not recommended in non-endemic areas or for individuals who have never been infected with dengue.

What amount of protection will I get from a single dose?

Manufacturers advise that single dose will provide 80% protection after 14 days and last for 3 months.

How effective is Qdenga?

Qdenga is manufactured using a dengue type 2 backbone. In trials this protects against types 1 and 2. However in the conducted trials there were no identified cases of types 3 and 4, but the Takeda advisory committee is confident there is likely to be some protection.

Does Qdenga require a blood test before vaccination?

No. Qdenga vaccine is manufactured differently to other vaccines and does not require a test for earlier dengue infection before use.

How long will a course of Qdenga last and when will need to have a booster?

The length of protection is currently unknown and booster information has yet to be published by manufacturer.

What type of vaccine is Qdenga?

Qdenga is a live rDNA vaccine.

Can Qdenga be given at the same time as other travel vaccines?

Qdenga can be given at the same time as inactive vaccines (eg hepA, typhoid, TDP, rabies, Japanese encephalitis). Trials have shown that is can also be given at the same time as yellow fever vaccine. There is no published evidence with other live vaccines and a4 week gap should be allowed between them, eg. MMR and Qdenga.

Written by Travel Health and Vaccination Lead Derek Evans

Edited on 03-11-2023
Next edit on 26-11-2024

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