Cancun Travel and Dengue Fever Medical Information

Dengue fever is most often transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which has been responsible for recent outbreaks in Texas and the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The disease has also been active in the low-lying coastal regions of Veracruz and along the Yucatan Peninsula. There is no vaccination for Dengue Fever. Prevent exposure with mosquito repellents (containing DEET) and protective netting during the day. (This mosquito prefers to hunt during daylight.)

Symptoms: Early symptoms include sore throat, nausea, headache, muscle and joint pains, vomiting, chills, and the sudden onset of fever as high as 104° F. The fever lasts for two to four days and then the patient may suddenly break into a drenching cold sweat. Symptoms may subside for a day or two before the second stage of symptoms begins, which is characterized by lower fevers and a scattered, light red rash on the trunk, arms, and legs. The hands and bottoms of the feet may be swollen with a darker red rash.

Treatment: Treatment consists of supportive measures, which means the use of analgesics such as acetaminophen, fever-reducing medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen, and adequate hydration sometimes with intravenous fluids.

Author; Robert H. Page, MD and Curtis P. Page, MD are authors of the MEXICO: Health and Safety Travel Guide and the Healthy Traveler Regional Series. For more information visit