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Dengue Fever Cases Skyrocket Near Cancun – Should Americans Be Concerned?

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Cases of dengue fever are rising at an alarming rate in the Mexican Caribbean, prompting officials to warn residents and travelers about the potentially fatal disease. 

The sun-soaked region is currently experiencing a massive increase in the spread of the disease, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

mosquito workers in cancun

It is particularly prevalent in tropical areas like the Mexican Caribbean, characterized by high humidity and rain, creating the perfect conditions for the spread of the viral disease.

As hundreds and thousands of travelers flock to the Mexican Caribbean this summer, many travelers are concerned about the dangers of dengue fever. With that in mind, just how dangerous is the disease and what can be done to prevent it?

Tourist exploring jungle area

Uptick In Mosquito-borne Disease Causing Concern Among Officials

Dengue fever is one of the main health-related concerns for thousands of travelers in the Mexican Caribbean. Although rarely fatal, dengue fever can have catastrophic health effects if left untreated, and preventive measures are increasingly important.

That’s all the more so with the recent rise in dengue fever cases in the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo, with more than 1,656 cases reported so far this year. That number is a whopping 4,375% higher than during the same period last year, painting a worrying picture regarding the spread of the tropical disease.

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@roamwithroxanne Stay safe, friends! Let me know if you have any questions 🫶🏽 #bali #mexico #travel #dengue #mosquito #mosquitos #mosquitoes ♬ original sound – Roxanne TRAVEL content creator

Despite the unusually hot and dry summer so far, dengue has continued to spread like wildfire across some parts of the Mexican Caribbean, with officials asking residents to take more measures to prevent further spread.

Although the sudden rise in cases may seem alarming, it’s important to remember that dengue fever is rarely fatal, with only 13 deaths reported this year. 

A female with a rash after being bitten by mosquito

These Vacation Hotspots Are Seeing The Highest Number Of Reported Cases

Although dengue is present in the entirety of the Mexican Caribbean, some locations are seeing more cases than others. According to the latest epidemiological data, Cancún, Isla Mujeres, and Othón P. Blanco are currently most affected by the disease, potentially due to more efforts to detect and report cases.

Fortunately, most resorts take extensive measures to protect guests from disease-carrying mosquitoes. Even though resorts are relatively shielded from the epidemic, travelers should take measures when exploring the Mexican Caribbean outdoors.

One of the most important things travelers can do to prevent dengue is to regularly apply mosquito repellent when visiting one of the region’s countless cenotes or rainforests. 

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Meanwhile, travelers staying at one of the thousands of vacation rentals across the Mexican Caribbean are advised to take more substantial precautions against dengue, with many properties lacking sufficient protection from mosquitos. 

One of the first things visitors should do is acquire a mosquito net for the bedroom, especially when staying at a location that is close to humid rainforests. Travelers should also avoid storing open containers of water. 

@glennishamorgan One of my favorite activities in Cancun… #ATV #cancun #cenotesmexico #mexico #travel #blackgirlstravel #cenote #jungle #selva #selvamexicana ♬ Ruff Ryders' Anthem – Re-Recorded – DMX

What Are The Main Symptoms Of Dengue?

Although cases of dengue are rising in many parts of the Mexican Caribbean, the tropical disease is usually mild and easily treatable at home. However, 1 in 4 people infected by dengue will develop symptoms, which can vary from mild to severe, and around 1 in 20 develop serious complications. 

Some of the most common warning signs to look out for include symptoms similar to those of the flu, most notably:

  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Rash
An ambulance in the Mexican Caribbean

Symptoms of dengue will usually subside within two to seven days, and no treatment currently exists for the disease. Travelers who experience significant symptoms are advised to seek medical attention. 

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