FL Health Advisory: Mosquito-Borne Illness, Dengue, Cases Growing in Key West

08/04/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Key West, FL– Health officials are beginning to worry that the dengue fever is gaining a foothold in the Key West area, after receiving confirmation that there has been an increase in the number of cases of the mosquito-borne illness, as reported by CNN.

The Florida Health Department stated 24 cases of dengue fever have been reported in the Key West area through mid-July. Among the 24 cases, 18 involved Key West residents, five residents of other Florida counties, and one case of an out-of-state resident. Another 49 cases of “imported” dengue fever cases have been reported as well, meaning the illness was acquired out of the country in places that are under a dengue epidemic like the Caribbean, or Central and South America.

As previously reported in “Florida Health Advisory: Mosquito-borne virus, dengue, attacking Floridians,” Dengue is also known as “break-bone fever” because of the severe aches it inflicts on those who become infected. Symptoms of an infection include high fever, pain behind the eyes, joint and bone pain, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms will begin to manifest themselves within four days of being bitten by an infected mosquito, and will usually pass in less than a week. There are other four distinct forms of the virus, which can result in internal and external bleeding.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for spreading the viral disease, dengue. The mosquitoes are daytime biters, usually found near standing water and in urban areas in South Florida. The insect will also bite inside lighted houses, as it prefers to be indoors.

The chief of the dengue branch of the CDC Harold Margolis said, “We are concerned that if dengue gains a foothold in Key West, it will travel to other Southern cities … like Miami.”

Florida residents and visitors are advised to wear protective clothing, like long sleeves and pants, and apply bug spray with deet to avoid being bitten by an infected mosquito.

There currently is no vaccine to prevent a dengue infection, but early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of acquiring a severe illness.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley

Media Information:

Address: Key West, FL
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