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HealthFlorida Woman Dies From Dengue Fever

Florida Woman Dies From Dengue Fever

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By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The dying 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 within the United States.

Once solely seen in sizzling and steamy tropical or subtropical locales, dengue has been on the rise in components of the southern United States as a consequence of world warming, journey and different elements. While most Americans 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 within the United States, together with a 2019 outbreak in Miami.

This can happen when an area mosquito feeds on an individual who’s contaminated with dengue after which move the illness on to others.

Spread by a chunk from an contaminated Aedes mosquito, dengue may cause a high fever, rash and muscle or joint pain. In extreme circumstances, dengue may cause doubtlessly deadly bleeding and shock. Each yr, as much as 400 million folks will turn out to be contaminated with dengue and about 22,000 will die from this illness, in keeping with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


In 2019, Florida noticed 413 of us identified with dengue, most of whom had just lately traveled to Cuba. This outbreak sired 18 regionally acquired circumstances, together with one which resulted within the younger Miami girl’s dying. To decide the supply of the an infection, docs 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 idea of a letter within the June 10 difficulty of the New England Journal of Medicine. 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 sort of a quasi-endemic area for dengue now,” he stated. “We should expect this as a risk moving forward, and doctors in the southern U.S. should know that dengue is on the table as a possible diagnosis.”


There is not any broadly out there vaccine to forestall dengue, Morris stated. To stave off an infection, “use a good bug spray, cover your skin and avoid areas with 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 hold mosquitoes out, Morris stated.

Delayed prognosis

There is not any fast check for dengue both so it could actually take a number of days to make a prognosis, defined research co-author Tyler Sharp, an epidemiologist on the CDC’s dengue department in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A delay in prognosis performed a job within the Miami girl’s dying. “If you think it could be dengue, treat it as if they have it, and if it’s negative, there is no downside,” Sharp stated.

Treatment entails hydration and shut monitoring of important indicators. “Tell your doctor if you have been to an area where dengue is endemic or if someone you know has recently been diagnosed with dengue as it may not be front of mind to many doctors,” he stated.

Controlling mosquitoes on the neighborhood stage has been more difficult, stated Sharp.

“We need to raise awareness and develop, evaluate and ultimately implement tools to fight 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 move on a gene that kills feminine offspring earlier than they mature. Only feminine Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can chunk and unfold dengue.

Unless and till the mosquito inhabitants is diminished, “it is very important to be aware of dengue in Florida, Texas and Hawaii as we know that mosquito vector is there,” stated Yesim Tozan, an assistant professor of world well being on the NYU School of Global Public Health in New York City.

Fortunately, most native outbreaks within the United States have been restricted as mosquitoes cannot fly too far, she stated.

“We need to be vigilant about fever and illness particularly when we know mosquitoes are active,” Tozan stated. Mosquito season spans from spring to fall.


“Climate change is making us see severe weather like unexpected rain and fluctuating temperatures and mosquitoes are very sensitive to this, so all of a sudden we have breeding activity when we normally would not,” defined Tozan, who was not concerned within the new report.


“Be an educated traveler,” she stated. “If you are coming back from areas where dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent, share your travel history with your doctor.”

More info

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affords extra on dengue prevention.

SOURCES: Stephen Morris, MD, infectious illness specialist, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami; Tyler Sharp, PhD, epidemiologist, CDC Dengue Branch, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Yesim Tozan, PhD, assistant professor, world well being, NYU School of Global Public, New York City; New England Journal of Medicine, June 10, 2021

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