Hugh Wilson didn't know anything about dengue until he came down with theillness on holiday in Thailand.
"I never seemed to get bitten while I was travelling," says Hugh. "I wasn't really concerned about mosquitoes."
Hugh and his partner were staying in Krabi insouthern Thailand when Hugh started to experience symptoms.
"It started off as a mild headache and then fever. I also had a rash of tiny red spots over my shoulders, chest and back.
"The fever was awful, but the worst thing was the headache. It was the worst headache I'd ever had, like torture. Painkillers didn't have any effect and it was worse when I tried to sleep. So I got no sleep at all, which was horrible."
Hugh was staying on a small island only accessible by boat. He suffered for three days and nights before he sought medical help.
"I was first seen by a nurse attached to one of the hotels on the island. She looked at me and said she wasn't equipped to diagnose me. I realised I was going to have to get back on a boat and get help on the mainland. I was too weak to carry my rucksack, so thank goodness my partner was there to help me."
Hugh went to the nearest hospital. The doctors gave him blood tests. At first, they were unable to confirm the dengue virus, but there had been a recent outbreak of the disease.
"They told me to come back in two days if I wasn't feeling any better and to take paracetamol. But that night I just felt awful and went back the next day. They admitted me and did other tests, which confirmed it was dengue.
"Luckily, I didn't have any dangerous complications. They gave me an injection, which I think may have been a muscle relaxant, but the language barrier was difficult to overcome. I just let things happen.
"I felt very relieved that I was in hospital and someone was looking after me."
Hugh stayed in hospital for two nights and three days. He started feeling a lot better after the first day. Doctors monitored his condition. They told him the fever had peaked and the worst was over.
Hugh left hospital feeling much better. "I was incredibly weak for weeks afterwards," he says. "All I could do was wander around and try to keep out of the sun. We went to Bangkok a week later and I collapsed after drinking three pints of beer. It took a while to recover."
Hugh says he'll never be casual about bite protection again. "I wouldnt ever want to repeat the experience of having dengue," he says.
"I wish I'd known more about dengue. The real fear seemed to be malaria. But after I'd had dengue, I found out it's a big problem,but just not as well known as malaria. We had mosquito nets and coils, which we only used at night. We were quite slack about putting on repellent during the day. But now I've learned my lesson."
Dengue is a viral infection spread by mosquitoes. It's widespread in many parts of the world. In most people the infection is mild and passes in about a week without causing any lasting problems. But in rare cases it can be very serious and potentially life threatening.
Symptoms of dengue usually develop suddenly 4 to 10 days after becoming infected like; a high temperature (fever), severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, etc. The symptoms normally pass in about a week, although you may feel tired and slightly unwell for several weeks afterwards.
In rare cases dengue can be very serious and potentially life threatening. This is known as severe dengue or dengue haemorrhagic fever. People who've had dengue before are thought to be most at risk of severe dengue if they become infected again.
There's currently no widely available vaccine for dengue. You can prevent it by avoiding being bitten by mosquitoes, use insect repellent, wear loose but protective clothing, etc.
There's no cure or specific treatment for dengue. Treatment involves relieving your symptoms while the infection runs its course. You can usually look after yourself at home. Take paracetamolÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â to relieve pain and fever, drink plenty of fluids, etc.
The story of Hugh Wilson, who came down with dengue while on holiday in Thailand. Hugh and his partner were staying in Krabi insouthern Thailand when Hugh started to experience symptoms.