dengue fever

WMFE

A protester was removed from a talk in Orlando on Friday about genetically modified mosquitoes.

South Florida has one more reason to hate mosquitoes: Miami-Dade County Health officials announced a case of locally-acquired Dengue fever Tuesday night.

The FDA is considering whether to approve the experimental use of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys to help stop the spread of dengue fever and other diseases. Mosquito control officials in the region say they hope to get approval to begin releasing the insects in the Keys as soon as this spring.

There are few places in the United States where mosquito control is as critical as the Florida Keys. In this southernmost county of the continental U.S., mosquitoes are a year-round public health problem and controlling them is a top priority.

Wikimedia Commons

Health officials say a 50-year-old Miami-Dade County woman is the state's first case of locally acquired dengue fever so far this year.

The Florida Department of Health's administrator in Miami-Dade County said Wednesday that the woman has fully recovered.

The dengue fever virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. Its symptoms include high fevers and severe muscle and joint pain. There's no specific medication or vaccine.

Dengue fever is widespread in other parts of the world, but local officials hope to contain it whenever it appears in the U.S.

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.

The state’s largest blood collection agency has stopped collecting blood in Martin and St. Lucie counties amid several reports of dengue fever, the Palm Beach Post reports. OneBlood provides blood to 200 hospitals in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. 

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.

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.