Travellers warned over potential fatal viral outbreak in Bali

Bali has a reputation as a tropical paradise, but it’s also living up to its reputation for ‘Bali belly’, prompting travel warnings about a dangerous illness.

Australian government officials are warning travellers to Bali to take precautions against dengue fever as reports come in about an outbreak on the island. 

Dengue fever is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes and involves severe flu-like symptoms. It’s generally found in tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, Africa and South America. 

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson told dengue fever was most common during the rainy season, which typically lasts from November to April.

“The best way to prevent dengue fever is to avoid being bitten by mosquitos,” the spokesperson said.

“The government encourages all travellers to read the travel advice for Indonesia on Smartraveller before they travel, as well as advice on infectious diseases and dengue.”

Bali authorities said they were following the outbreak closely.

No deaths

“Even though the number of dengue fever cases in Bangli district has increased by 65 per cent compared to the position in March 2023, thankfully no dengue fever patients have died,” said the head of the Bangli Health Service, I Nyoman Arsana.

Simple methods for travellers to avoid being stung by mosquitoes include:

  • Wear long, loose-fitting clothing
  • Use mosquito repellents containing Picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin
  • Limit outdoor activity if lots of mosquitoes are about
  • Remove stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed around your home or campsite
  • On holidays, make sure your accommodation is fitted with mosquito netting or screens
  • Use ’knockdown’ fly spray, mosquito coils or plug-in repellent where you gather to sit or eat outdoors
  • Don’t forget the kids – always check the insect repellent label. On babies, you might need to spray or rub repellent on their clothes instead of their skin. Avoid applying repellent to the hands of babies or young children.

Have you ever had dengue fever? Why not share your experience in the comments section below? 

Also read: The drill on visiting dentists in Bali

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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