An Australian traveler to Japan has been diagnosed with dengue fever, according to a letter from Alfred Health in Melbourne sent to ProMed Mail Friday.

Aedes albopictus female mosquito feeding on a human host/James Gathany

The notification states that a 51-year-old male who visited Yoyogi Park in Tokyo presented with fever and other symptoms suggesting dengue fever. Laboratory analysis by NS1Ag [nonstructural protein 1 antigen test] was positive.

Yoyogi Park has been the epicenter of the first indigenous cases of dengue fever since World War II. The Tokyo metropolitan government has closed parts of Yoyogi Park and other Tokyo area parks in an attempt to get the dengue under control.

The case count has grown to 115 locally acquired cases since Aug. 27, even prompting the Japan Red Cross to defer potential blood donors who have been at the Tokyo parks temporarily.

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone fever” because it sometimescauses severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. The author of the notification states “Although the usual vector of dengue fever, Aedes aegypti, is not present in Japan, a cold-tolerant species, Aedes albopictus, is known to be present in parts of the country  It is not contagious from person to person.

There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Looking for a job in health care? Check here to see what’s available

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, new research from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approachesestimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.

More about dengue fever