Dengue News: Florida Starting To See A Rise In Dengue Infections With 32 New Cases In Week 40!
Health authorities in Florida are raising the alarm as the incidence of dengue fever shows a worrying upward trend in the southern part of the state. The Florida Health Department has been diligently monitoring the rise in dengue cases throughout 2023, with a significant spike observed during week 40. The disease, caused by the dengue virus and transmitted through infected mosquitoes, is endemic in approximately 125 countries worldwide.
In latest data seen in local Dengue News
outlets, it has been reported that during week 40, Florida recorded a total of 32 new dengue cases, further emphasizing the growing concern.
As of October 7, 2023, the Arbovirus Surveillance report from Florida's health department confirmed 17 new travel-associated dengue cases. So far this year, there have been 351 dengue cases associated with international travelers, with Miami-Dade County leading the tally at 207 cases. What is even more concerning to health officials is the noticeable increase in locally acquired dengue cases.
In the same week, an additional 15 cases of locally acquired dengue were reported, pushing the 2023 total for such cases to 53. Of these locally acquired cases, Miami-Dade County has been the most affected, reporting 47 cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 1,289 dengue cases have been reported by 48 U.S. jurisdictions in 2023. Alongside Florida, New York has reported 90 dengue cases this year, indicating a broader issue beyond the Sunshine State.
In the broader context, the Region of the Americas has reported approximately 3.4 million dengue cases so far in 2023, underlining the widespread nature of the disease.
As of October 11, 2023, only two dengue vaccines are available worldwide, and of these, only one is licensed for use in the United States. The Dengvaxia® vaccine by Sanofi Pasteur is available for specific individuals following a diagnostic test review, representing a potential tool in the fight against the disease.
Dengue, which is caused by dengue virus serotypes 1, 2, 3, or 4, is primarily transmitted through the bites of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are also responsible for the transmission of other dangerous viruses, such as Zika and chikungunya. Importantly, an individual can become infected with dengue multiple times throughout their life.
The symptoms of dengue infection usually last for two to seven days and include mild manifestations such as fever, rash, nausea, vomiting, and muscle, joint, and bone pain. However, these symptoms are not specific to dengue, making it easy for the disease to be mistaken for other illnesses.
Unfortunately, there are no specific antiviral treatments for dengue, and management primarily involves symptom relief, including rest, hydration, and the use of acetaminophen. It's important to note that aspirin or ibuprofen should be avoided, as they may exacerbate gastriti
s or bleeding.
Severe dengue, though relatively rare, can occur in about one in 20 cases, leading to symptoms such as shock, internal bleeding, and, in extreme cases, even death. The incidence of severe dengue underscores the importance of early detection and intervention in controlling the disease.
The recent surge in dengue cases in Florida is a stark reminder of the challenges posed by this mosquito-borne illness. Data from the CDC reveals that between 2010 and 2022, there have been more than 33,000 locally acquired cases of dengue in the United States. However, the annual case count remained below 1,000 cases per year until 2022 when it marked the first time in nearly a decade that cases exceeded four digits.
In response to this concerning trend, Florida Health is urging residents to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Recommendations include regularly draining, emptying, and cleaning containers that may collect water, as stagnant water serves as a breeding ground for Aedes mosquitoes. Furthermore, individuals are advised to wear protective clothing and apply insect repellent to minimize their exposure to these disease-carrying vectors.
While malaria has gradually declined in prevalence, Miami-Dade County continues to grapple with local dengue fever cases. The local health department has been closely monitoring the situation, with numerous cases of the mosquito-borne illness reported since June. As a result, both Miami-Dade and Broward County remain under mosquito-borne illness alerts due to the ongoing spread of dengue. In contrast, Sarasota and Manatee counties have enjoyed relative relief from the disease since early September.
The rise in dengue cases is a pressing public health concern for Florida, and efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus must be intensified. With ongoing monitoring and a focus on mosquito control, the state aims to curtail the outbreak and protect the health of its residents. The situation underscores the importance of awareness, prevention, and the need for continued research into effective dengue control strategies. As Florida grapples with this dengue outbreak, health officials and the public alike must remain vigilant in the face of this mosquito-borne threat.
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