The West Australian health department has issued a special warning to travellers to Bali over dengue fever, saying there have been more than 430 reported cases in the state this year, three times the figure from last year and most of them associated with travel to Bali.
Dengue is not present in Western Australia.
Health department communicable disease control director Paul Armstrong said West Australians should be aware of the dengue risk – and the risk of other diseases – overseas and take the necessary precautions.
“Travellers to developing countries need to be very careful with the food they eat and the water they drink,” he said.
Medical researchers in Perth have been working on a dengue vaccine for the past 10 years and aim to have it available within the next five years.
There is no medication to stop or treat dengue. Only the symptoms can be suppressed.
Bali is experiencing a peak in dengue cases this year. The mosquitoes that carry the disease breed in stagnant water, often in unkempt gardens and wet areas in homes such as kitchens, laundries and bathrooms, and bite during the day.