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Florida: Dengue fever is ever present in the Sunshine State, Is chikungunya next?

Florida saw dengue fever for the first time in four decades in 2009 when the mosquito borne virus made its appearance in October of that year in Key West.

Broward County Florida  Image/David Benbennick

Broward County Florida
Image/David Benbennick

Since that time, dengue has been reported throughout the state annually with an outbreak in Martin County last year in which more than 20 cases were confirmed.

The two vectors of dengue fever, Aedes aegypti (primarily) and Aedes albopictus, are both present in the Sunshine State. These mosquitoes also transmit the virus, chikungunya.

In early December, the first “locally acquired” infections of chikungunya were confirmed and reported on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin.

The total number of cases in some 17 or so Caribbean countries and territories now exceeds 50,000 with some of the most alarming numbers coming from our neighbors just a short 680 miles south of Miami.

Both sides of Hispaniola are experiencing outbreaks of chikungunya. The Dominican Republic has confirmed 17 cases, with another 7,500 cases being called suspected.

Even more recently, the Haitian Health Ministry is reporting 1,529 confirmed chikungunya cases.

How long until chikungunya rears its ugly head in the US? Soon, say most experts. Both the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health have issued warnings about the possibility of a new mosquito-borne virus that could hit Florida this year. 

Keeping your eye on chikungunya is the US means keeping an eye on Florida. It’s only a matter of time.

dengue fever

Aedes mosquito Image/CDC

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    […] 2009, there were no reports of dengue acquired in Florida since 1934. In 2009 -2010, an outbreak of dengue was identified in Key West. A total 22 persons were identified with dengue […]

  2. Florida: Dengue fever is ever present in the Su... says:

    […] Florida: Dengue fever is ever present in the Sunshine State, Is chikungunya next?  […]

  3. Florida reports three imported Chikungunya cases | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] a large number of people travelling to and from the Caribbean in Florida we have been monitoring for possible imported cases,” said Dr. Carina Blackmore, State Public […]

  4. Florida reports three imported Chikungunya cases - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a large number of people travelling to and from the Caribbean in Florida we have been monitoring for possible imported cases,” said Dr. Carina Blackmore, State Public […]

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