Dengue Virus Found in South Florida


Mosquito-borne diseases are on the rise in south Florida after officials confirmed the first case of dengue virus in Miami, according to reports. The virus is the first local case in Miami and the second case of the infection in the state after a Connecticut traveler contracted the virus while visiting. Health officials on Wednesday found the virus in a Miami resident after testing thousands for Zika, which is a cousin of dengue.

Dengue is most commonly found in Puerto Rico and various areas in Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, just about anywhere people are infected with Zika, chances are that dengue is not too far behind, Florida health officials have said. Dengue was most likely found because health officials are looking for it and that “there’s likely dengue and Zika in multiple areas of Florida and the Gulf Coast,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told the Miami Herald. The CDC said dengue cases have been reported in 48 states — most cases were contracted by immigrants or while U.S. residents were traveling. The biggest dengue outbreak happened back in 2005 in Texas along the U.S./Mexico border where more than 1,200 people were infected with the virus.

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SOURCE: International Business Times, Janice Williams