Local Transmission of Dengue Confirmed in Florida


The Florida Department of Health has confirmed that a locally-acquired case of dengue has been documented in Miami-Dade County.

Florida Health officials have announced that a locally-acquired case of dengue has been confirmed in Miami-Dade County.

“There is a heightened concern of additional residents becoming ill,” the state health department indicated in a statement.

According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of August 7, 2019, there have been 215 travel-associated cases of dengue in the United States reported to ArboNET. Of the 215 cases, 45 (21%) were detected in Florida.

The Florida Department of Health notes that a small number of travel-associated cases of dengue have been reported in the state each year. The virus was declared eliminated from the United States several decades ago, and from 1934 to 2009 there were no reports of locally acquired dengue in Florida.

Between 2009-2010, a dengue outbreak was identified in Key West with 88 cases of locally acquired dengue documented in the area. In 2013, an outbreak was detected in Martin County, Florida, during which 28 individuals were diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness.

The CDC reports that although dengue outbreaks occur occasionally in the continental United States, the outbreaks are typically small and isolated to particular areas. However, because Aedes aegypti, the types of mosquitoes that carry dengue, are common throughout a large part of the United States, local transmission of dengue is possible.

The Department of Health along with the Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control and Habitat Management Division are reminding residents to take proper precautions to limit exposure to mosquitoes. Preventive measures include draining standing water to halt the multiplication of mosquitoes and covering skin with clothing or mosquito repellent.

2019 is shaping up to be a difficult year for controlling cases of dengue.

From January 2019 to July 20, 2019, the Philippines has recorded 146,062 cases of dengue and 622 deaths, a 98% increase from the same period in 2018. Earlier this week the Ministry of Health elected to declare a national epidemic.

Other Southeast Asian nations have also reported an uptick in dengue cases in 2019. Malaysia has documented 62,421 cases through June 29, including 93 deaths, compared with 32,425 cases with 53 deaths reported during the same period last year. Over the same period, Vietnam documented 81,132 cases including 4 deaths, compared with 26,201 cases including 6 deaths during the same period in 2018.

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