The Health Protection Agency (HPA) in Britain has warned its citizens to be more careful when traveling to tropical countries after the number of dengue fever and chikungunya cases doubled among people who visit such countries.
Around 50 percent of the travelers had visited India and account for more than 21 percent of the new dengue fever cases. In total, the number of dengue fever cases among travelers shot up from 166 in 2009 to 406 in 2010. Chikungunya cases also increased by 34 percent, up from 59 in 2009 to 79 in 2010.
The head of the HPA's travel and migrant health section, Dr Jane Jones said that more precautions should be taken by travelers to make sure that they are not bitten by mosquitoes since there are no drugs to prevent the diseases.
"The mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya bite in the day, compared with those that spread malaria which are mainly active from dusk to dawn. To minimize the risk of being bitten it is advisable to wear appropriate clothing to cover up - such as long sleeve tops and trousers - and use insect repellents.", she said.