A person in Florida has caught a locally transmitted case of dengue fever. The case is the first in which a person caught dengue from a mosquito bite within Miami-Dade County in 2016.
This is unusual, since most cases in US travelers are acquired in the Caribbean and elsewhere overseas.
The case is also Florida's second local dengue case of 2016, according to CBS Miami. In 2015, the state reported one locally transmitted case of dengue, and in 2014 it had six known locally acquired cases of the disease, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Dengue is spread when infected, daytime-biting mosquitoes bite humans. There is no vaccine against dengue fever. You must apply a DEET or Picaridin repellent to your skin and wear protective clothing. Permethrin-treated clothing is also effective.
The virus cannot be spread directly from person to person; it must be carried by a mosquito, according to the CDC.
Dengue is often referred to as “breakbone fever.” It is a serious illness. Symptoms of the infection include high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, and rash.
Symptoms usually begin within 7-10 days after exposure and can last several weeks.
Treatment is supportive with Tylenol and fluids. If the person develops severe symptoms, such as vomiting or severe abdominal pain, he or she might have dengue hemorrhagic fever, a potentially fatal disease.
You can prevent dengue fever only by preventing mosquito bites. I recommend our Zika Virus and Malaria Prevention Kit.
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