|Aedes aegypti. Credit: University of Florida Entomology & Nematology|
MIAMI, Florida -- Miami-Dade County Health Department officials received confirmation of the first locally acquired case of Dengue Fever in Miami-Dade County for 2014.
The individual was diagnosed with Dengue Fever based on symptoms and confirmed by laboratory tests. The individual fully recovered from this illness.
About Dengue Fever
Dengue fever is an important mosquito-borne virus worldwide. It is caused by four related dengue viruses (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, DEN-4) that are related to the viruses that cause West Nile infection and yellow fever. Globally, there are an estimated 50 to 100 million cases per year, and some 2.5 billion people could be at risk for dengue infection.
The virus is found primarily in sub-tropical climates and is thought to be present in approximately 100 countries worldwide. Dengue infection is acquired through the bite of certain species of mosquitoes, primarily Aedes aegypti, but also Aedes albopictus, both of which are present in Florida. To make matters worse, a person could become infected with both dengue and Chikungunya virus at the same time because they are both carried by the same types of mosquitoes.
Dengue Fever Symptoms
Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating disease but is rarely fatal. Symptoms appear 3-14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito and include sudden onset of fever, severe headache, eye pain, muscle and joint pain (giving the disease the nickname "breakbone fever"), and bleeding. Gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea may also be present in some cases. Dengue fever symptoms usually lasts 4-7 days. The disease is often diagnosed incorrectly because the symptoms are similar to influenza and other viruses. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a rare but more severe form of dengue infection that can be fatal if not recognized and treated with supportive care. The primary risk factor for hemorrhagic fever is previous infection with a different dengue serotype (i.e. getting DENV-2 if you have already DENV-1 puts you at increased risk of hemorrhagic fever).