dengue

Just this month Brazil—the country where experts say the Zika virus first arose—ended its nationwide health emergency related to the virus. The World Health Organization took a similar step in November. But as the summer mosquito season in Florida begins, the threat from Zika remains acute for South Florida and other parts of the world where the mosquitoes carrying the virus can be found.

Mosquito control officials in the Florida Keys are expecting an expensive fight against the mosquitoes that carry the Zika and dengue viruses.

A field trial releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys would not harm humans or the environment, according to documents released Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Things To Know About GMO Mosquito Test Proposed In Florida

Mar 15, 2016
Andre Penner, File / AP Photo

The spread of the Zika virus in Latin America is giving a boost to a British biotech firm's proposal to deploy a genetically modified mosquito to try to stop transmission of the disease.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikimedia Commons

Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.

Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.

“This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, which is waiting to hear if the Food and Drug Administration will allow the experiment.

As chikungunya fever sweeps through Haiti, forcing school, workplace and even  hospital closures because so many people are sick, public health officials say Florida needs to be on the lookout.
Dr. Vincent DeGennaro Jr., director of internal medicine at a hospital in Port-au-Prince, said half his staff  has already had the virus and he expects to get it too," the Miami Herald reports. "It's unbelievable how it's spreading," he said.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikimedia Commons

JENSEN BEACH, FLA. — State health officials have lifted a dengue fever advisory in Martin County. 

No new cases of the mosquito-borne illness have been reported in the Rio-Jensen Beach area since September. Health officials lifted the advisory on Tuesday.

Over a five-month period, 22 people in the area developed the signs of the illness, which include high fever and aching bones.

Public health workers will be asking about 300 people for blood samples amid a dengue fever outbreak that has sickened 18, the Palm Beach Post reports. Workers from the Florida Department of Health in Martin County will knock on doors at more than 700 homes to figure out how widespread the mosquito-borne virus outbreak is. 

Public health officials in Florida are once again scrambling to contain an outbreak of dengue fever, a disease spread by mosquitoes.

Until 2009, when it surfaced in Key West, the tropical disease hadn't been seen in Florida in more than 70 years.

Now there are concerns dengue may establish a foothold in the state.

Ten related cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, have been reported in Okaloosa County, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports. Three isolated cases had been reported there earlier. Whooping cough is preventable through vaccination, but health officials say some families have been skipping the shots.

Dengue Fever Pops Up In Florida

Aug 26, 2013

Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness, is back in Florida.

A handful of cases have been confirmed in Martin and St. Lucie counties in the past week. The cases there prompted a public health alert. Another case was seen in Miami-Dade, where officials issued a mosquito-borne disease advisory.

Three Cases of Dengue Fever Confirmed

Aug 16, 2013

The Florida Department of Health released a statement urging residents to take precautions against mosquitoes, due to three Martin and St. Lucie County residents contracting dengue fever. Locally-acquired dengue is very rare in the United States, despite over 100 million cases of the mosquito-borne disease worldwide each year. Florida Department of Health Environmental Health Director Bob Washam offers some advice on how to protect yourself.

A new paper in the journal Nature says scientists have been seriously underestimating the amount of dengue around the globe.

The study says there could be as many as 400 million dengue infections worldwide each year making it more prevalent than malaria. This is four times higher than the current dengue prevalence estimate of the World Health Organization.

If you're heading down to Florida for spring break, consider packing bug spray and long-sleeve shirts.

After a 60-year hiatus, the mosquito-borne illness dengue fever officially re-established itself there.