U.S. Embassy officials in Nassau alerted travelers about a recent outbreak of dengue fever in the Bahamas, citing more than 200 confirmed cases in the past few weeks.
In one case, two children from northern Virginia became ill after returning from the Bahamas. Both have since recovered.
Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito.
Hotels and resorts in the Bahamas have not reported cancellations or inquiries regarding the outbreak, according to tourism officials.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control posted a notice on its website on Sept. 15 about “heightened dengue fever activity” in New Providence, where Nassau is located.
More than 1,000 cases of dengue-like symptoms have been reported in the Bahamas since Aug. 9, according to the notice.
The CDC has not warned against travel to the Bahamas but has advised travelers to take precautions against mosquito bites (stay in resorts and hotels that are well-screened or air-conditioned; wear long-sleeved shirts and pants; and use insect repellent containing DEET when outside, particularly from dusk to dawn). Dengue is not endemic to the Bahamas.
Outbreaks have been reported in other Caribbean countries as well as in South America over the years, according to the CDC.
The Bahamas Ministry of Health “is pursuing preventative measures, including fogging and communication campaigns in densely populated areas. Public health officials continue to aggressively monitor this situation and will issue updates as developments warrant,” according to its statement.
Symptoms of dengue fever include joint and muscle pain, high fever, headache, nausea and a rash. Dengue can be diagnosed by two blood tests, two weeks apart. There are no vaccines or treatment options, and most people completely recover.