The Ministry of Health is warning New Zealanders travelling to the South Pacific about the risk of catching dengue fever today following recent cases.

Travellers should avoid being bitten by mosquitos as they carry the virus, which has symptoms including high fever and intense headache.

Health Ministry senior advisor communicable diseases Doug Lush said there had been continued reports of dengue fever in some South Pacific countries.

"We're reminding people to take some common-sense precautions following the reports from several countries including Fiji and New Caledonia," Dr Lush said in a statement.

He advised travellers to stay in lodgings that had screens on doors and windows, use insect sprays indoors, and wear repellent and protective clothing outside.

Dengue fever is found in tropical regions worldwide. New Zealand does not have the type of mosquito that carries the virus and the disease is not contagious.

Dr Lush said people returning from the South Pacific should seek medical advice if they think they show symptoms of dengue fever.

Dengue fever appears three to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito.

Apart from headache and fever, other symptoms may also include skin rash, muscle and joint pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. Serious bleeding can also occur, particularly after repeated exposure to the virus.

Anyone who is concerned or wants more information should contact their local Medical Officer of Health.

- NZPA