Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness, is now in Florida

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Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 4:55 pm | Updated: 9:32 am, Tue Sep 17, 2013.

Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness, is now in Florida.  This week a handful of confirmed cases in Martin and S. Lucie County prompted a public health alert and, one case in Miami Dade resulted in a mosquito borne advisory.

Dr. Vilma Vege, M.D. of Infectious Disease Associates on the Suncoast said, "High fevers, severe headaches an actual form of what we call breakbone fever which is a severe case of joint pains and muscle aches to the point where you cant get out of bed."

Nausea, vomiting and diahrea are other signs you may have Dengue fever, a mosquito born disease contracted by a bit from an infected mosquito which can be transferred from mosquito to man and man to mosquito.

So, what are the chances of getting of contracting dengee fever?

"Its one of the most common mosquito borne illnesses in the world," Said Reuben Holland, M.D. Director of the ER at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, "Its very rarely seen in the United States, most commonly seen in other countries such as Africa and sub-tropical areas."

After 1934 no cases were bred from within the United States, but popularity of international travel enabled people who aquired the disease in their country to bring it here. However, in 2009 and 2010, we actually had reported ninety three cases in Key West. Although it's unclear how this happens, its possible, an infected person from another country comes to Florida, and is bitten by this particular mosquito, which is prevalent in the U.S. and is a conduit of dengee fever.

"Interestingly with Dengue fever, up to eighty percent of people can be asymptomatic." Said Dr. Holland. Most of the time the disease runs its course and resolve on its own.

Occasionally those infected may experience some nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, 'But, said Dr Vega, "The there more severe cases which could happen in any where from one to five percent of those cases could have a hemorrhagic form, where they actually get more bleeding severe, which can lead to shock."

The mortality rate for Dengue fever runs around twenty-percent for the severe hemoragic cases but of that number, only one percent go on to die.

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