A Suffolk man whose summer holiday in the Maldives turned into a 'horrific' nightmare after he contracted a mosquito-borne disease has spoken out about his experience. 

Ken Burnett, of Huntingfield near Halesworth, noticed he had three bites on his leg towards the end of his trip but didn't think much of it.

After arriving home his condition quickly deteriorated and he was diagnosed with tropical mosquito-borne disease, dengue. 

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Ken spent 10 days in bed recoveringKen spent 10 days in bed recovering (Image: Ken Burnett)

Mr Burnett said: “It’s quite horrific – my skin started to change colour, I was in a considerable amount of pain - my bones felt like they were being crushed and I later learned dengue is known as ‘break bone fever’. 

"I felt like I was on fire - my temperature had shot up so much.” 

Dengue is the fastest-spreading mosquito-borne disease and was recognised by the World Health Organization in 2019 as one of the top ten threats to global health. 

It is passed to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes most commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical climates – many of which are popular holiday destinations. 

Mr Burnett's wife took him to hospital, where he was seen by a tropical medicine specialist. 

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when they told me there was nothing they could do for me, so I had no other option but to go home to bed, rest and hopefully make a speedy recovery at home.

“It’s funny how much your body can change. For the next 10 days I couldn’t eat anything, nor concentrate.

“You feel like your body is collapsing, it’s extremely painful and I had absolutely no energy - I didn’t move from my bed the whole time other than to use the bathroom," he added.

Mr Burnett spent 10 days in bed recovering from the illness and, after his experience, he said he is now more careful when booking a holiday.

“Contracting dengue hasn’t left any lasting damage, but I do find myself taking more steps to look after my health now before I travel abroad," he said.

“I won’t step on a plane without researching where I’m going first, plus I will always have a full bottle of mosquito repellent packed in my suitcase just in case.”

This comes as Takeda UK Ltd and Takeda Products Ireland Ltd have launched the Explore Uninterrupted campaign with an interactive map to raise awareness of dengue among travellers. 

To find out if a holiday destinations are dengue endemic regions, visit the Explore Uninterrupted website.