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Published On: Thu, Nov 1st, 2012

Seminole County man contracts locally acquired dengue fever

The Seminole and Orange County (FL) health departments are investigating a locally acquired case dengue fever case near the University of Central Florida area, according to an Orlando Sentinel report Oct. 30.

mosquito

Photo/CDC-James Gathany

The patient, a 19-year-old Seminole County man, is the first locally acquired case of the mosquito borne viral disease in either county in approximately five decades. He is currently recovering from the illness.

The dengue virus was laboratory-confirmed according to the report.

Just one month ago, the Miami-Dade health department reported their first locally acquired dengue fever case in 60 years.

Dengue fever of multiple types is found in most countries of the tropics and subtropics particularly during and after rainy season. It has been seen repeatedly in Texas and Hawaii in this country.

A small number of patients in Florida were diagnosed with the illness in 2009 and 2010.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate 100 million cases annually, this includes 100-200 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mostly in people that have traveled abroad.

In recent years, there has been an increase in epidemics in many parts of the world.

There are four types of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.

People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person.

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).

The symptoms of classic dengue usually start within a week after being infected. They include very high fever, up to 105°F, severe headache, pain behind the eye, severe joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting and a rash.

In cases of DHF and DSS, all four types can be the cause in descending order of frequency; type 2, 3, 4 and 1.

There is evidence that types 2 and 4 need to be secondary infection to cause DHF, while primary infection with types 1 and 3 can cause DHF.

Symptoms of DHF include all the symptoms of classic dengue plus severe damage to the blood vessels. Bleeding from the nose, gums or under the skin are common. This form of dengue can be fatal.

Symptoms of DSS include all of the above symptoms plus; fluid leaking outside of blood vessels, massive bleeding and shock. This form of the disease usually happens in children experiencing their second infection.

Two-third of all fatalities occurs among children.

There is no specific treatment for dengue, just treatment of the symptoms. Persons who think they have dengue should use analgesics (pain relievers) with acetaminophen and avoid those containing aspirin. They should also rest, drink plenty of fluids, and consult a physician.

There is not a vaccine for dengue fever.

The Florida Department of Health makes the following recommendations to prevent mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and West Nile:

Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

  • DISCARD: Old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.
  • EMPTY and CLEAN: Birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • PROTECT: Boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
  • MAINTAIN: The water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

Cover your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellent.

  • CLOTHING: If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves
  • REPELLENT: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.

Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

  • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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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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