Many countries are recording an increase in dengue. Over the last 20 years, cases have risen more than 8 fold, impacting tens of millions of people globally1. International SOS, the world’s leading security and health services company, has seen a 92% increase in dengue-related cases this year compared to last year and therefore encourages organisations to step up their dengue prevention programmes and protect their communities and workforce against the disease.
Dr Irene Lai, Group Medical Director at International SOS, advises “Dengue is transmitted by mosquito bites. It is an increasing problem, with more cases, outbreaks becoming larger and more common, and the disease appearing in new areas. Whilst the reasons are complex, urbanisation and climate change may be contributing to the expanding global distribution and longer transmission seasons. Dengue, like most illnesses, causes a spectrum of disease – it can be very mild, while some people will experience strong headaches, high fever and rash. In the most severe cases, it can progress to bleeding and organ failure which can be fatal.”
Lai continues, “Not only is there an impact on infected individuals, outbreaks of dengue can impact healthcare systems when there is a surge in people requiring medical attention and hospitalisation. This is on top of the significant challenges our healthcare systems continue to face due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone needs to be aware of, and practising, measures to prevent dengue infections and transmission, including organisations that are operating in dengue-affected areas, and those sending travellers to them.”
Dengue is now consistently present in over 100 countries across the planet and is “the leading cause of serious illness and death in some Asian and Latin American countries”. Asia is reported to represent around 70% of the global burden of the disease.2
Best practice is for organisations to be involved in mosquito control and infection prevention measures to reduce community transmission of dengue. These measures may include promoting awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease among employees, encouraging good practices for dengue prevention and establishing coordination with local communities to support mosquito control programmes.
Tips to Reduce The Risk of Dengue:
Prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of mosquitoes breeding:
- Cover up bare skin - wear clothing that covers as much skin as practical. Don’t forget feet and ankles.
- Use an effective insect repellent.
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes breed – anywhere with stagnant water such as drains and ponds.
- Keep mosquitoes out of your accommodation – close windows and doors. If you need to have windows and doors open ensure that you have mosquito screens closed. Use "knock-down" insect spray to kill mosquitoes in your room.
- Keep your accommodation free of mosquito breeding areas – containers and dishes that hold even a small amount of water can breed mosquitoes. Dishes under potted plants are notorious culprits.
1. World Health Organization
2. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – Dengue
About the International SOS Group of Companies
The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability.
Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by more than 9,500 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune 500, as well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 13,000 multicultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days.
To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips: www.internationalsos.com