Dengue fever bites Florida Keys


  • Dengue is virus and is spread by mosquito bites.  According to World Health organization (WHO), 100 million people around the world are infected by Dengue on annual basis and about 25,000 people are killed.  Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas.

Few weeks ago, there was a report about Dengue fever in area of Key west, Florida.  It looks like this Dengue fever has been prevalent in Florida Keys, than just one or two cases.  Center for Disease control (CDC) and Florida Department of Health have reported that up to 5% of Key West residents (~1000 people), were exposed by Dengue in year 2009.  According to the report, 12 confirmed cases of dengue have been reported.

CDC reacts to Dengue fever in Key West Florida

There was dengue outbreak in Florida in 1934.  CDC is concerned and Harold Margolis, chief of the dengue branch of CDC stated that

  • These people had not traveled outside of Florida, so we need to determine if these cases are an isolated occurrence or if dengue has once again become endemic in the continental United States
  • We are concerned that if dengue gains a foothold in Key West, it will travel to other Southern cities like Miami

I think concern is valid and the fact is Miami and Key West is one of the hottest tourist...

spot in the US.  Also, Miami is gateway to entertainment Cruise to places like Bahamas. If tourist are infect, they can further spread dengue in the entire nation.

Symptoms of dengue

According to CDC, major symptoms of dengue include:

  • High fever and at least two of the following:
    • Severe headache
    • Severe eye pain (behind eyes)
    • Joint pain
    • Muscle and/or bone pain
    • Rash
    • Mild bleeding manifestation (e.g., nose or gum bleed, petechiae, or easy bruising)
    • Low white cell count

The fact is there is no vaccine for dengue available and the best prevention is to avoid mosquito bites.  When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of developing severe disease.  Be careful and watch your symptoms closely. It may seem that dengue is just a fever, but this fever can be fatal.

Healthy Travelling!

Source:  Reuters

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