'Bone break fever' symptoms as Brits heading to European hotspots including France and Spain are warned

Norovirus cases have been rising in the UK
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Holidaymakers jetting off to Europe are being urged to stay vigilant for signs of a disease known as 'bone break fever'. The number of Dengue cases is rapidly increasing, with warnings issued to Brits travelling to destinations such as Croatia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Madeira.

Dengue, also referred to as dengue fever, is an infection transmitted by mosquitoes. It's typically not serious and often resolves itself. However, some individuals may experience a more severe form of the disease.

Currently, Dengue is not present in the UK and can only be spread through infected mosquitoes, not from person to person. The initial sign of Dengue Fever is a mosquito bite, although not all mosquitoes are carriers of the virus.

The disease has been on the rise in Europe, with last year's figures in the European Union and European Economic Area doubling compared to the previous year. Dengue Fever first gained notoriety in the 1700s when it was dubbed the break bone fever, due to the intense pain it inflicts on muscles and joints.

What are the symptoms?

Dengue doesn't always produce symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear 4-10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Some symptoms of dengue are similar to the flu, according to the NHS.

They include:

  • a high temperature

  • a severe headache

  • pain behind your eyes

  • muscle and joint pain

  • feeling or being sick

  • swollen glands

  • a blotchy rash made up of flat or slightly raised spots – this can affect large areas of your body

Severe dengue

Some individuals may experience a more severe form of dengue after the initial onset of symptoms, although this is uncommon. After an initial improvement and normalisation of temperature, serious symptoms may develop 24 to 48 hours later.

Severe dengue symptoms include:

  • severe tummy pain

  • repeatedly being sick

  • fast breathing

  • bleeding gums or nose

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)

  • being unable to relax (restlessness)

  • blood in your vomit or poo

Dengue treatments

Most individuals with dengue start to feel better within a few days. While there's no specific treatment for dengue, symptom management can be achieved by:.

Avoid anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen or aspirin as they can lead to bleeding complications in dengue patients. Severe cases of dengue require hospitalisation until recovery.

Preventing dengue

Currently, there's no vaccine available in the UK for pre-travel prevention of dengue.

Those at increased risk of dengue should avoid travel to countries where the infection is prevalent.

High-risk groups include those who:.

In countries where dengue is endemic, the best prevention method is to avoid mosquito bites.