Be awared but not scared – Dengue fever in Madeira

Wind Birds feels that we should aware you of a new ‘problem’ in Madeira: it is confirmed that we now have dengue fever (DENV-1) in the island.

Dengue fever is a common desease in tropical regions and is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti which is present in Madeira since 2005 though by then the desease was not here.

Dengue fever is endemic to many countries all over the world and some of these are great birdwatching destinations such as Gambia, Kenya, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand… So, this post does not intend to alarm you but to make you aware that if during your stay in Madeira or within 14 days after returning home, you feel any of the dengue symptoms (sudden fever, headache, muscle and joint pains or rash) you should immediately go to the doctor and tell him it might be dengue fever.

For any of the symptoms described above you should not take acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) or any other anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen), though you may take Paracetamol to control the fever and pains until you get to the doctor.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is easily identified by its blackish body with white markings on legs and part of the body. They like indoor and shady areas and normally bite between dawn and evening.

In Madeira the Aedes aegypti mosquitos are only found in lower altitudes of Santa Cruz, Funchal and Câmara de Lobos which are places not regularly visited on Wind Birds tours. In any case we should always take personal protective measures to avoid being bitten by a mosquito infected with the virus of dengue fever.

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