Entries in mosquito-borne disease (3)

Dengue Fever Strikes Miami

The first locally-acauired case of Dengue since the Eisenhower Administration has hit shiny, glamorous Miami.  Story here.

Now "locally acquired" means the person did not travel recently to any of the known areas (or even unknown areas) where Dengue is normally found.  This person did not travel, and still contracted Dengue.  That means, therefore, that there are mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County carrying Dengue.  Period. No other way to say it.  And if one has Dengue, it is a fair question to ask how many misdiagnosed persons are out there currently, also with Dengue?

The mosquitoes are winning.  Insect-borne diseases such as Dengue, EEE, West Nile, and even bites from bedbugs are on the march.  All could all be easily mitigated.

All it takes is the political will (yes, the political will) to re-engage a little something called DDT.  As you may know, I am a big proponent of the return of DDT.  It's either that, or we start asking the UN for our own mosquito nets. 

Dengue Fever confirmed in Greater Orlando area, Ocala

According to Fox News Orlando, Dengue fever is confirmed in Orlando, and the Obama Administration is to blame!

OK, the first part of that sentence is true.  Dengue fever has been confirmed in Orange County, which includes Orlando and all your world-renowned theme parks.  The Fox affiliate is reporting that three Orange residents are stricken with dengue.  Here's the link, and the text:


LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) - A health department official from Orange County has told FOX 35 that there are three cases of dengue fever in Orange County.

Late Thursday, health officials in Miami and Ocala were reporting the first suspected cases of dengue fever, a potentially serious mosquito-borne illness that had once disappeared from the United States.

Dengue fever is a flulike illness spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito (ay-EE-deez ee-JIP-ty), a common urban mosquito in the U.S. and Caribbean. It's known as breakbone fever because of the intense joint pain suffered in extreme cases.

Health officials say the Miami Beach man who is suspected of contracting the disease has fully recovered. No further information was released Thursday about the case in Ocala.

A recent study revealed five percent of Key West residents show evidence they have been exposed to the virus, but few became ill.

Orange County Health Department spokesperson Dan Weister said the cases in Orange County involve residents who have traveled to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

As we know, you can get a lot more than a sunburn by traveling to Puerto Rico, trinidad, and just about anywhere wlse in the Caribbean these days.  Anyone who goes to these areas without a) sunscreen and b) a ton of DEET-laden repellent, is crazy!

About an hour north of Orlando is Ocala, where horsemen and -women breed champion thoroughbreds.  It is equidistant between Orlando and Gainesville, where Gators breed national championships!  Anyway, Ocala has also reported its first case of dengue since Johnson was president.   Here is that story, from the Ocala Star-Banner:

Dengue fever identified in county

The Marion County Health Department has requested the Marion County Commission conduct a mosquito spray in the northeast area of Citra after receiving confirmation of a case of Dengue fever in the county.

More Information:

“We have requested the mosquito spray as a precautionary measure,” said Dr. Nathan Grossman, director of the Marion County Health Department, in a news release. “The risk of transmission from this mosquito-borne disease is very low, but as part of our mission to protect the health of Marion County citizens we are taking additional steps to further reduce possible transmission.”

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne virus that is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is usually seen in subtropical and tropical land regions. Symptoms are headache, fever, exhaustion, severe joint and muscle pain, swollen glands, mild bleeding and rash. There is no specific treatment.

Because the fever can be transmitted to another human from a mosquito that has bitten a person with the disease, citizens should take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

The Health Department advises following the “5 Ds:

* Dusk and Dawn – Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.

* Dress – Wear clothing that covers most of the skin.

* DEET – Use repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide). Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are options.

* Drainage – Check around homes and rid areas of standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs.

For more information, call 629-0137.

So dengue has gone from "What it that?" to "OMG!" Stay tuned, for i am sure there will be plenty more to read about.  And follow Avian Flu Diary and H5N1 for more details.  Their links are in the column to the left.

Dengue fever alert posted for South Florida

Things are moving very quickly on the dengue fever front in South Florida.  Just this morning, the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued an unprecedented dengue fever warning for South Florida.  Here's the article:

Advisories were in effect in Broward and Palm Beach counties Thursday after health department officials announced that a Miami Beach man had come down with a suspected case of locally-acquired dengue fever.

The announcement from the
Miami-Dade Health Department follows word earlier this week of what was described as a small outbreak of the exotic, mosquito-borne disease in Key West.

That prompted a warning from the federal
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the disease, which can be serious and even fatal on rare occasions, could spread.

Candy Sims, a spokeswoman for the
Broward County Health Department, said no suspected cases have been reported locally. "But we are on high alert and monitoring the situation," she said.

Earlier this week, Harold Margolis, chief of CDC's dengue branch, issued a report in which he said, "We're concerned that if dengue gains a foothold in Key West, it will travel to other southern cities where the mosquito that transmits dengue is present, like Miami.''

Health officials urged people to keep covered up and use insect repellent as precautions.

A viral disease common to the southeastern United States and the tropics, dengue fever is not spread from person to person and is seldom fatal except to the very young and elderly with other health conditions, according to health department experts.

But this outbreak is serious enough that a specialist from the CDC recently gave classes in South Florida teaching doctors and hospital officials how to recognize the disease.

Symptoms include a high fever, severe headache, a rash, and pain in
bones and joints, according to the CDC. More than 100 million cases of dengue occur every year worldwide.

The Miami Beach man who is suspected of contracting the disease has fully recovered, said Miami-Dade Health Department Director Lillian Rivera. "He is doing well," she said.

A blood sample from the Miami Beach man is being tested by the state. If dengue is confirmed, it would be the first locally contracted case of the disease in
Miami-Dade Countyin at least 45 years, said Rivera.

"This is not a cause for alarm; it is a cause for creating awareness that we live with mosquitoes and we need to protect ourselves," she said.

Palm Beach County, Health Department Director Alina Alonso sent a memo to county physicians and infection control specialists on June 30, urging "enhanced surveillance" for dengue after the Key West cases had been identified.

"It is of utmost importance that suspected cases of dengue are accurately and promptly diagnosed," she wrote in the memo. "Recent travel history to the Caribbean, Central and South American countries, or Key West in a patient with the above symptoms may suggest a consideration of dengue in the differential diagnosis."

In Key West, doctors have recorded 14 cases of dengue since April, following an outbreak of 27 cases last fall. Those cases were the first recorded in the continental United States since 1945.

More recently, epidemic dengue has become more common in the tropics and subtropics, including
Puerto Rico.

But the Key West cases, said the CDC's Margolis, "represent the re-emergence of dengue fever in
Florida and elsewhere in the United States after 75 years."

"These people had not travelled outside of Florida," said Margolis is a statement, "so we need to determine if these cases are an isolated occurrence or if dengue has once again become endemic in the continental United States."

For the first time in five decades, dengue fever is gaining a foothold in the United States.  The authorities are moving swiftly and decisively to set up the means to detect this virus and monitor its progress.  This is yet another value-add from the swine flu pandemic and bird flu preparedness drills.  The monitoring mechanisms to diagnose, detect and track the spread of dengue would not be so easily set into motion, had it not been for pandemic exercises and the actual swine flu pandemic itself.  People should remember this, especially residents of South Florida.