Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rare Dengue Fever Hits Florida

100 Million Cases Worldwide, But Rare In U.S.

Florida Department of Health officials have confirmed a total of eight cases of dengue fever in Florida. Seven of the cases were reported in Martin County and one case in Miami-Dade County.

Some people may experience little to no symptoms, but the most common symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, severe headache, joint or bone pain and rash. People who have symptoms of dengue fever should immediately contact their health care provider.

The affected individuals in the two Florida counties had no history of recent international travel, so the exposure to dengue fever was most likely from local mosquitoes. Locally-acquired dengue is rare in the United States.

Worldwide, it is estimated that there are more than 100 million cases of dengue fever each year. Dengue fever is a disease transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Dengue fever cannot be transmitted from person to person.

The Department of health says being outside means you're at risk for mosquito bites. Everyone can take basic precautions to avoid getting mosquito bites and prevent mosquitoes from multiplying. The best way to reduce mosquitoes is to eliminate the places where the mosquitoes lay their eggs, like containers that hold water in and around the home.

To protect yourself, use insect repellent on your skin and wear long sleeves and pants for additional protection. Also, make sure window and door screens are not loose and repair any holes in the screens.

For more information about mosquito-borne illnesses, you can visit the Florida Department of Health website at or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at

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