Holiday Illness News – Dangers of Visiting New Destinations


Dengue fever was amongst the most common causes of illness affecting visitors to the Cape Verde islands last year.

The disease, which causes, sickness and diarrhoea, severe headaches, muscle and joint pain, pain behind the eyes, is passed to unsuspecting holiday-makers usually by infected mosquitoes - the local health authorities in Cape Verde believe that there were as many as 21,000 suspected cases and 6 deaths in 2009 alone.

If left untreated; this condition can lead to haemorrhagic fever - which can cause shock and can be fatal.

Many tropical diseases including Dengue, Malaria, and Yellow fever are transmitted by mosquitoes. Avoiding bites is the only means of prevention.

The mosquitoes which spread tropical disease typically bite at dawn or dusk but can bite at any time during the day, indoors or outdoors, although especially in shady areas, or when it is cloudy.

Holiday-makers should therefore ensure they use repellents, keep windows and doors closed and cover up during the evening to reduce the risk of bites and contracting such diseases from insects.

Simpson Millar Solicitors’ Holiday Accident and Illness Claims Manager, Simon Lomax says:

“Holiday makers travelling to Cape Verde and other exotic destinations such as the Dominican Republic or Kenya should consult with their GP before leaving the UK to ensure they are adequately inoculated - minimising the risk of being infected by serious tropical diseases”.

Many of the larger UK tour operators have identified the Cape Verde Islands as a new and exotic destination. The islands now boast prestigious all-inclusive hotels including the ClubHotels RIU Funana, RIU Garopa, and the RIU Karamboa - through which several thousand UK holidaymakers will pass this year.

Simon added “Fortunately, it is rare for UK holiday-makers to contract tropical diseases from insect activity whilst on holiday. The most common cause of illness abroad remains food poisoning with the most common bacterial infections being Salmonella, Campylobacter and E-coli”.

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