Oropouche fever in the Americas


Level 1 - Practise health precautions (more details)



Original publication date: June 13, 2024

Current situation

There are outbreaks of Oropouche fever being reported in the Americas. While Oropouche fever has been detected in the Americas before, the number of cases is higher than expected, and cases are being reported in some areas of Brazil, Bolivia, and in Cuba where they haven’t been before.

About Oropouche fever

Oropouche fever is a disease caused by the Oropouche virus. It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected midge (small fly) or mosquito. The mosquitoes are most active during the night, while the midges are most active during the afternoon. Both insects can be found outside and inside of homes. 

Most travellers are at low risk. People who spend a lot of time outdoors may be at higher risk because they are more likely to come into contact with insects. 

There are no vaccines to prevent Oropouche fever. 

Oropouche fever can be mistaken for dengue. The symptoms are similar, and may include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain
  • sensitivity to light
  • pain behind the eyes

Some people may also experience a rash.

In rare cases, Oropouche fever can cause severe illness, such as aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain).  

There is no specific treatment for Oropouche fever. Medical care aims to control the symptoms and help with recovery.

Recommendations

Before your trip

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably at least 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Review the Travel Advice and Advisories page for your destination.

Travel advice and advisories by destination

During your trip

The best way to protect yourself when travelling is to prevent insect bites at all times.

  • Always use an approved insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin. For best results, read and follow all label directions.
  • Consider limiting outdoor activities when the midges and mosquitos are most active.
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothing made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester. Wear long pants and tucked-in long-sleeved shirts with closed-toe shoes or boots and a hat.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping (day or night) outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed.
  • Consider wearing approved insecticide-treated clothing.

Seek medical care if you develop symptoms similar to those caused by Oropouche virus while travelling.

Learn more:

Personal insect repellents
Insect bite and pest prevention
Tips for healthy travel
If you become sick or injured while travelling outside Canada or after your return

After your trip

Continue to monitor your health after you return to Canada. If you develop symptoms of Oropouche fever, seek medical care. Tell your health care provider where you have been travelling. 

Information for Health Care Professionals 

Public health authorities and clinicians in Canada may consider Oropouche fever in their differential diagnoses for suspected cases of dengue that are negative for the molecular detection of dengue virus.

The Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT) has developed a statement on measures to prevent arthropod bites.

Statement on Personal Protective Measures to Prevent Arthropod Bites

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.

Registration of Canadians Abroad


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