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Dengue Fever Infection and Death in Florida

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By Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter

The loss of life of a Miami girl in her 30s from regionally acquired dengue fever highlights the necessity for consciousness of a doubtlessly deadly mosquito-borne virus that is now discovered in the US.

As soon as solely seen in scorching and steamy tropical or subtropical locales, dengue has been on the rise in components of the southern United States resulting from international warming, journey and different elements. Whereas most Individuals nonetheless contract the illness whereas touring to components of the world the place dengue is endemic, there have additionally been circumstances of regionally acquired dengue in the US, together with a 2019 outbreak in Miami.

This may happen when a neighborhood mosquito feeds on an individual who’s contaminated with dengue and then go the illness on to others.

Unfold by a chew from an contaminated Aedes mosquito, dengue could cause a excessive fever, rash and muscle or joint pain. In extreme circumstances, dengue could cause doubtlessly deadly bleeding and shock. Every year, as much as 400 million folks will develop into contaminated with dengue and about 22,000 will die from this illness, in keeping with the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

In 2019, Florida noticed 413 people identified with dengue, most of whom had just lately traveled to Cuba. This outbreak sired 18 regionally acquired circumstances, together with one which resulted in the younger Miami girl’s loss of life. To find out the supply of the an infection, medical doctors reviewed the girl’s journey historical past and carried out genetic sequencing of the virus, which confirmed that it was regionally acquired.

Her story is the premise of a letter in the June 10 concern of the New England Journal of Medication. It ought to function a cautionary story, stated co-author Dr. Stephen Morris, an infectious illness specialist at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

“Florida is a type of a quasi-endemic space for dengue now,” he stated. “We should always anticipate this as a danger transferring ahead, and medical doctors in the southern U.S. ought to know that dengue is on the desk as a potential analysis.”

There isn’t any broadly obtainable vaccine to stop dengue, Morris stated. To stave off an infection, “use a superb bug spray, cowl your pores and skin and keep away from areas with quite a lot of standing water,” he stated. Mosquitoes like to put eggs close to standing water in buckets, bowls, flower pots and vases.

Screens on doorways and home windows may also preserve mosquitoes out, Morris stated.

Delayed analysis

There isn’t any fast take a look at for dengue both so it may possibly take a number of days to make a analysis, defined research co-author Tyler Sharp, an epidemiologist on the CDC’s dengue department in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A delay in analysis performed a task in the Miami girl’s loss of life. “When you assume it could possibly be dengue, deal with it as if they’ve it, and if it is unfavorable, there isn’t a draw back,” Sharp stated.

Therapy entails hydration and shut monitoring of important indicators. “Inform your physician if in case you have been to an space the place dengue is endemic or if somebody you realize has just lately been identified with dengue because it is probably not entrance of thoughts to many medical doctors,” he stated.

Controlling mosquitoes on the group degree has been more difficult, stated Sharp.

“We have to increase consciousness and develop, consider and in the end implement instruments to struggle dengue in South Florida and elsewhere,” he stated.

There are methods of decreasing the mosquito inhabitants which are presently being explored. For instance, as a part of a controversial research, Florida launched genetically modified male mosquitoes that go on a gene that kills feminine offspring earlier than they mature. Solely feminine Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can chew and unfold dengue.

Except and till the mosquito inhabitants is diminished, “it is extremely necessary to pay attention to dengue in Florida, Texas and Hawaii as we all know that mosquito vector is there,” stated Yesim Tozan, an assistant professor of world well being on the NYU College of International Public Well being in New York Metropolis.

Happily, most native outbreaks in the US have been restricted as mosquitoes cannot fly too far, she stated.

“We must be vigilant about fever and sickness significantly after we know mosquitoes are energetic,” Tozan stated. Mosquito season spans from spring to fall.

“Local weather change is making us see extreme climate like sudden rain and fluctuating temperatures and mosquitoes are very delicate to this, so abruptly we’ve breeding exercise after we usually wouldn’t,” defined Tozan, who was not concerned in the brand new report.

“Be an informed traveler,” she stated. “If you’re getting back from areas the place dengue and different mosquito-borne ailments are prevalent, share your journey historical past along with your physician.”

Extra info

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention presents extra on dengue prevention.

SOURCES: Stephen Morris, MD, infectious illness specialist, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami; Tyler Sharp, PhD, epidemiologist, CDC Dengue Department, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Yesim Tozan, PhD, assistant professor, international well being, NYU College of International Public, New York Metropolis; New England Journal of Medication, June 10, 2021

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