Florida Keys On Alert for Dengue After Two Local Cases Reported

Dengue Fever Alert in Florida Keys

Health experts in the Florida Keys are sounding the alarm about Dengue Fever. This warning comes after two local people got the disease, which is spread by mosquitoes.

The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County is now working hand-in-hand with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District. The goal? To track any new cases and prevent more. They are stepping up their efforts with house-to-house inspections and even spraying from the air.

Rise in Dengue Cases Worldwide

This alert didn’t just come from nowhere. In fact, it follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) raising similar concerns. The CDC recently cautioned about the increased risk of Dengue virus in the U.S., and it’s not just a local problem. The number of Dengue cases is breaking records around the world.

What is Dengue Fever?

You might be wondering, “What exactly is Dengue Fever?” It’s kind of like the flu, with symptoms like serious muscle and joint pain, fever, and sometimes even a rash. Those symptoms are described by the Monroe County Health Department. Also, once you get Dengue, the high fever can hang around for five to seven days.

But here’s the thing – Dengue fever is not contagious. This means it can’t be directly passed from one person to another. How does it spread then? The culprit is a mosquito called Aedes aegypti. This mosquito gets the virus by biting a person who is already infected. Then, when it bites another person, it passes the virus on. The bad news is that the symptoms can take up to 14 days to show up.

Preventing the Spread of Dengue Fever

Since these mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs and breed, getting rid of such water spots can help cut down the risk. The health department urges everyone to empty or cover any containers that might collect water. This includes things like old tires, toys, pool covers, and gutters on your roof. Even a small amount of water, like in a bottle cap, is enough for the mosquitoes to breed if it stands for more than a week.

If you’re living in Florida Keys, there are other ways you can protect yourself. Some of them include wearing shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeve shirts. Also, anytime you go outside, remember to put on insect repellent on the areas of skin that are exposed. Staying indoors as much as possible and installing screens on all windows can also be a big help.

The Current Outbreak

As of now, the CDC has confirmed that there are 2,241 cases of Dengue in 43 jurisdictions in the U.S. for this year. This includes a staggering 1,498 cases in Puerto Rico alone. Interestingly, most of the cases were found in people who had traveled to places with a high number of Dengue cases.

In conclusion, the outbreak of Dengue fever is a serious concern not only for Florida but also for the entire U.S. As such, it is imperative to keep abreast of the preventive measures issued by health officials and to apply them in daily life. By doing so, you can contribute to the fight against the further spread of this disease.

 

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