Yesterday the headline was Chikungunya in Texas, while today we have the first reported case of locally acquired Dengue in Florida for 2016. In this case, in a tourist who recently visited the Florida Keys.
In 2015 Florida only reported 1 Dengue case, with onset last October in Broward County.
Dengue returned to Florida in 2009 after a seven decade absence, likely brought into Key West by a viremic tourist. Local mosquitoes got a blood meal, and ongoing transmission resulted in 24 cases reported in 2009 (see MMWR: Dengue Fever In Key West), with another 63 reported in 2010.
Since 2010 the number of Florida Dengue cases has dropped considerably, but in 2013 Martin county reported 22 cases, temporarily forcing the Suspension Of Blood Donations In Two Counties.
The Monroe County Health Department has issued a statement on the latest case, and a mosquito borne illness advisory.
Health Officials Issue Mosquito-Borne Illness Advisory
June 01, 2016
Contact: Alison Morales Kerr
Key West, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County (DOH-Monroe) has received laboratory confirmation of a case of dengue virus infection. All indications are that this infection was locally acquired in Key West. This individual has received medical treatment and is currently recuperating. The person is not a resident of Florida and has returned to their home state. The individual is also expected to make a full recovery.
There are no other confirmed cases at this time. DOH-Monroe and the Division of Disease Control and Health Protection are currently conducting epidemiological studies to determine the origin and extent of infection. Florida Keys Mosquito Control is assisting with the investigation and has intensified its mosquito control activities throughout Key West.
Dengue can present as a flu like illness with severe muscle aches and pain, fever and sometimes a rash. Usually, there are no respiratory symptoms. Symptoms of dengue will appear within ten days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Dengue Fever is not contagious, but is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Key West experienced an outbreak beginning in 2009, but has remained free from dengue since October 2010.
There are no reported cases of Zika in Monroe County; there are more than 120 cases of travel-related Zika reported in Florida. All of these cases were acquired outside of Florida. There have been no locally-transmitted cases of Zika in Florida or the United States.
The emergence of this dengue case reinforces the importance for the public to prevent insect bites. These measures include in-tact window screens and the use of air conditioning, keeping the area around your residence free from containers that collect water, wearing protective clothing and the appropriate use of insect repellents.
For more information about mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue, click here.