Dengue fever repeat infections - how long does one have short-term immunity towards all four serotypes of dengue fever?
Hi Phil, I read on an article signed by you on the world nomads website (under the subthread Travel Safety Dengue Repeat Infections/"Symptoms and treatment for Dengue Fever and more") that a person is immune to all types of dengue for the first 6-9 months after their first infection. How accurate is this information? Do you have a source you can refer me to? Seeing as I am now recovering from a first time dengue fever infection in Thailand, I am determining how risk averse to be in the next couple months of my trip (to Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and China). As I will have limited access to healthcare in many of these places, the remaining planning of our trip sort of depends on the accuracy of the short-term immunity towards all four types as described in your article. If I am immune for the next 6 months then I have less to worry about. If not, I might need to make some major changes to our trip to avoid catching a repeat infenction developing into DHF/DSS etc... Hope you're able to give us some further information, advice, or thoughts on places or activities to avoid or not ! Thanks a lot!
I am often asked about the risk of dengue fever by guests booking our private pool villa in the countryside of northeast Thailand (http://www.thaivillarent.com).
I hope you are now fully recovered. However, I would not assume that you are now fully protected for 6-9 months against all serotypes. Current opinion appears to suggest that you can expect immunity for 2-3 months.
A secondary infection by a different serotype can be more aggressive than the original infection, and certain co-existing conditions can also increase your susceptibility, so your doctor is best placed to determine what your risks are. Rather than assuming immunity, you should take all sensible steps to reduce chances of a second infection (the use of repellents, mosquito nets, travel in high incidence area etc.)
You should find the resources below useful:
World Health Organization
I hope this is useful and that you enjoy the remainder of your travels in good health. 9 months ago