There is as yet no vaccine to protect against Dengue fever and the only way to prevent dengue virus transmission is to avoid being bitten by the disease-carrying mosquitoes.
This is done by controlling or preventing Dengue virus transmission which prevents the vector mosquitoes spreading the disease even further.
Aedes aegypti breeds mainly in man-made containers such as earthenware jars, metal drums and concrete cisterns used for domestic water storage, but discarded plastic food containers and toys, old tyres and other items that can collect rainwater, gutters , drains, tree holes, palm fronds and leaves that gather to form "cups" and catch water, are also potential breeding sites.
This means people living in areas where Dengue fever is endemic or where an outbreak has occurred need to be vigilant on a regular basis about their yards and garden areas to ensure they are not unwittingly providing possible breeding sites for mosquitoes.
It is also advisable to spray exposed body parts with a suitable insect repellent and wear long sleeve shirts and clothing which covers arms and legs - clothing may also be sprayed with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent for greater protection (permethrin should not be used on skin) - repellents that contain one of the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus - always follow the instructions on the label.
Repellents usually protect longer against mosquito bites when they have a higher concentration of any of these active ingredients, however, concentrations above 50% do not offer a marked increase in protection time and products with less than 10% of an active ingredient may offer only limited protection, often no longer than 1-2 hours.
The American Academy of Pediatrics approves of the use of repellents with up to 30% DEET on children over 2 months old.
Apart from the vector control methods already mentioned, small, mosquito-eating fish and copepods (tiny crustaceans) have also been used with some success.
How to Avoid Dengue Fever When Travelling
Travellers can reduce their risk of getting Dengue fever by protecting themselves from mosquito bites - the mosquitoes that spread dengue usually bite at dusk and dawn but may bite at any time during the day, especially indoors, in shady areas, or when the weather is cloudy ,and unlike malaria, dengue is often spread in cities as well as in rural areas.
Travellers are advised where possible, to stay in hotels or resorts that are well screened or air conditioned and that take measures to reduce the mosquito population - if the hotel is not well screened, sleep under bed nets to prevent mosquito bites and when outdoors or in a building that is not well screened, use insect repellent on uncovered skin.
It is worth noting that Dengue fever is the most common cause of fever in travellers returning from the Caribbean, Central America, and south central Asia.