Dengue fever: guidance, data and analysis

The symptoms, diagnosis and epidemiology of dengue.

Dengue fever (also known as break-bone fever) is a severe flu-like illness caused by a viral infection spread by Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue fever does not occur in the United Kingdom. All cases reported have been acquired as a result of travelling to endemic areas, the majority to South and South East Asia, South and Central America, Africa and the Caribbean.

Health professionals should be alert to the possibility of dengue in those who have recently returned from an endemic area presenting with a fever or flu-like illness.

More information about dengue fever is available from NHS.UK, World Health Organization and the National Travel Health Network and Centre.


Send the appropriate samples (with a full clinical and travel history) to Public Health England’s Rare and imported pathogens laboratory (RIPL). RIPL is a specialist centre for advice and diagnosis for a wide range of unusual viral and bacterial infections including dengue fever.


In 2013, 541 individual cases of dengue fever were reported in England, Wales and Northern Ireland compared to 343 in 2012.

Published 4 September 2008