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‘Horrible’: Fresh warning for Aussies in Bali

The government is warning Aussies travelling to Bali to take precautions against dengue fever, as social media swirls with reports of tourists who have been struck down with the painful infection.

Teejay Barratt, writing to a Facebook page on Bali advice, warned the mosquito-borne illness was now “rampant” across the popular island holiday destination.

“Please everyone be very thorough and cover up with mosquito repellent,” he said.

“There is rampant dengue fever going around at the moment.

“Travelling friends of ours currently have a severely ill 15-year-old son at BIMC (Hospital) fighting this horrible disease.”

NusaBali.com, an Indonesian language website, also reports a “significant” increase in dengue cases in early 2024.

Dengue is transmitted via mosquito bites and symptoms include severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands and rash, according to the World Health Organisation.

“There is no specific treatment for dengue. The focus is on treating pain symptoms,” the WHO states.

Australian health authorities have reported an increase in dengue infections in people returning from Bali in recent years and the government’s smart-traveller advice service recommends visitors use insect repellent, wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing and make sure booked accommodation is mosquito-proof.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman warned dengue was common during Indonesia’s rainy season, which takes place from November to March.

“The best way to prevent dengue fever is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes,” she 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.”

Dengue occurs throughout Indonesia, including Bali, Jakarta and other major cities.

Indonesia attracts more than a million Australian travellers each year with its mix of cultural power, natural beauty and affordability.

The tropical getaway was the number one travel spot for Australians in 2023, according to data from Bupa Travel Insurance, followed by the United States and New Zealand.