Martin, St. Lucie & Miami Dade Counties
A follow up to last weeks report (see Florida: Three Dengue Cases Reported), Martin County has reported an additional 3 dengue fever cases and yesterday Miami Dade county reported their first infection of 2013.
Dengue had plagued the state of Florida until after World War II, but was eradicated as a result of an aggressive post-war mosquito spraying program.
Dengue returned in 2009 to the Florida Keys, probably imported by a traveler who had recently visited another country where the virus is endemic. A local mosquito bit that visitor, and then went on to transmit the virus to others.
At least 28 people contracted Dengue in Key West that year (some asymptomatic or mild infections were likely never reported), and the virus returned in 2010 with even greater numbers; infecting 65 – including 1 person in Broward County, and another in Miami-Dade County.
2011 and 2012 saw major reductions in case counts – likely due to mosquito control efforts and PSAs on mosquito safety - and we’d not seen any cases this year until last week.
Our first stop is Miami-Dade County’s Dengue alert, issued yesterday.
August 23, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MOSQUITO-BORNE DISEASE ADVISORY ISSUED FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
--First Confirmed Locally Acquired Dengue Case in Miami-Dade County in 2013--
Miami, August 23, 2013 - Today, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County has issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory for Miami-Dade County. The first locally acquired Dengue Fever case in 2013 has been confirmed in an 18-year-old male.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, pain behind the eyes, joint pain, and confusion. Health care providers should contact their county health department if they suspect an individual may meet the case definition for a mosquito-borne illness. Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control and the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County continue surveillance and prevention efforts and encourage everyone to take basic precautions to help limit exposure by following the department of health recommendations.
Martin County’s Health Department reported an additional case on Thursday (bringing their total to 4), but last night local media reported that three more cases had been diagnosed. This from WPTV.
By: Evan Axelbank
MARTIN COUNTY, Fla - Three new cases of Dengue Fever have been reported on the Treasure Coast, bringing the total number of cases there to seven.
Though health officials say all seven patients have recovered, doctors say there's real concern of new people getting sick across the state.
As Florida is home to two mosquito species that can transmit Dengue (Aedes aegypti & Aedes albopictus), and each year we see dozens of visitors arrive who are viremic (have the virus in their blood) – the ingredients are there to reintroduce local transmission of the disease.
The State of Florida’s latest Arbovirus Surveillance Report lists :
Sixty-three cases of dengue with onset in 2013 have been reported in individuals with travel history to a dengue endemic country in the two weeks prior to onset. Countries of origin were: Angola, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil (3), The Caribbean, Columbia (3), Costa Rica (2), Dominican Republic (5), Haiti (2), Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica (4), Nigeria, Panama, Philippines (2), Puerto Rico (31) and Saint Martin (2).
Counties reporting cases were: Alachua, Brevard, Broward (4), Clay, Duval, Indian River,Lake, Lee, Miami-Dade (19), Orange (12), Osceola (5), Palm Beach (8), Pasco, Pinellas, Seminole (3), St. Lucie and Volusia (2). Nine of the cases were reported in non-Florida residents. In 2013, 39 of the 66 cases of dengue reported in Florida have been serotyped by PCR. Additional serotyping and strain typing are being conducted.
# of cases per serotype – 2013
Puerto Rico, which is dealing with another major Dengue outbreak this year (see Puerto Rico: Dengue Levels Continue Above Epidemic Level), appears to be the origin of nearly half of the imported cases this year.
Puerto Rico Dengue Surveillance through Week 26
Cases of dengue in returning U.S. travelers have increased steadily during the past 20 years (8). Dengue is now the leading cause of acute febrile illness in U.S. travelers returning from the Caribbean, South America, and Asia (9).
Many of these travelers are still viremic upon return to the United States and potentially capable of introducing dengue virus into a community with competent mosquito vectors.
In 2009 the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report outlining the risks that Dengue could re-establish itself in North America, that included this map showing the areas of the United States that are vulnerable to the introduction of Dengue.
For now, the the overall risk of contracting a mosquito-borne illness in Florida (or elsewhere in the United States) remains small, but sporadic reports of Dengue (along with West Nile, EEE, SLEV, and other rare arboviral threats) are a good enough reason that everyone should remember to follow the `5 D’s’ of mosquito safety: