Published On: Thu, Nov 21st, 2013

‘Locally-acquired’ dengue fever case reported in New York

The Health Commissioner of Suffolk County, New York has announced a confirmed dengue fever case in a Township of Babylon man, according to a Suffolk County press release Thursday.

Commissioner James Tomarken said the 50-year-old plus man was hospitalized in September 2013 with symptoms consistent with dengue virus and has since fully recovered.

Also noted is the fact that this is known to be the first locally acquired case of dengue virus in New York State. Cases of dengue fever have been reported in earlier years; however, they were contracted during international travel.

“The exact route of transmission in this case is unknown,” said Dr. James Tomarken, Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services. “However, we have determined that this individual acquired dengue virus locally, as he had not traveled outside of the local metropolitan area during the incubation period.” 

dengue fever

Aedes mosquito Image/CDC

This individual was likely infected locally with dengue virus when bitten by a mosquito that had previously bitten an infected traveler. Both state and local health officials say that despite this isolated finding of locally acquired dengue virus in New York, they do not expect that dengue virus will become widespread in the region, as the temperate climate in New York does not lend itself to sustained transmission of the virus.

This case follows outbreaks of dengue fever seen in South Florida and South Texas.

“Given the recent introduction of Aedes albopictus into New York State and the high level of travel in New York to areas of the world endemic for dengue, it is not surprising that a locally acquired case of dengue has been found in the state,” said State Health Commissioner, Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. “This finding emphasizes the need for physicians to be aware of signs and symptoms of diseases common in tropical countries, but may occasionally present themselves in New York.”

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, new research from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.

There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

There is not a vaccine for dengue fever. There is no treatment for dengue, just treat the symptoms.

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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. The Pandora Report 11.22.13 | The Pandora Report says:

    […] ‘Locally-Acquired’ Dengue Fever Case Reported In New York […]

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