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An urgent health care warning has just been issued for Aussie travellers heading to some of their favourite overseas destinations.

1Cover Travel Insurance is reporting a stark rise in dengue fever cases, with claims ‘doubling’ this year alone.

The insurer says it is currently handling about five claims per week and advises travellers to take precaution when heading to dengue fever prone hotspots.

Outbreaks are occurring globally at higher-than-usual rates. Smarttraveller has identified several popular tropical holiday destinations where Australians are at increased risk, including Bali, Malaysia, Singapore and Peru.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than five million people have developed dengue fever since early 2023.

WHO attributes the increase in numbers to both the resurgence in travel post-COVID and the El Niño climate pattern.

Natalie Smith, spokesperson for 1Cover travel Insurance, says that that in some instances, the cost of catching dengue fever abroad can be extreme.

“Contracting dengue fever overseas can have serious implications on both your health and finances. Even in moderate cases, the average cost to treat and assist travellers with dengue fever is about $7,000.”

Smith adds that in some instances, claim costs can soar even higher.

“We recently assisted a couple in their 20s, both sick with dengue fever, which led to a $20,000 claim.

“We also had a $52,000 claim involving model Emily Gurr, who had contracted a severe case of dengue fever during her travels throughout Asia. Emily was in hospital for 10 days and had to be air-evacuated back home to Australia for further treatment.

“At least one-in-20 cases can become severe, leading to shock, internal bleeding and even death. While there is no specific treatment for dengue fever, patients may require hospitalisation, IV treatment, and in some cases, a blood transfusion.

“If you’re holidaying in a tropical region and experience a high fever, severe headache and/or nausea you should seek medical help immediately.”

There is no current vaccine to prevent dengue fever.  The best method of prevention is to protect yourself against mosquito bites.