Florida Reports 1st Local Dengue Virus Case

Dengue virus cases in Florida are primarily travel related

miami florida

The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County (DOH-Miami-Dade) confirmed the 1st locally-acquired case of the Dengue virus in the Miami-Dade County community during 2018.   

Each year, several Dengue cases in Florida are reported in people who travel to areas where the virus is present, such as the Caribbean, Central, and South America. 

As of November 10, 2018, 43 travel-related Dengue cases have been reported in Florida.   

The most recent Dengue outbreak in Florida was reported during 2013 in Martin County, where 28 people were infected, including 4 who were asymptomatic.   

The DOH-Miami-Dade department says taking “basic precautions to help limit exposure,” including:

  • draining standing water to prevent breeding
  • removing tires, bottles, pots, and pans that collect water 
  • wearing long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes
  • using repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and IR3535

Worldwide, as many as 400 million people are infected with Dengue each year. 

Similar to the Zika and chikungunya viruses, Dengue spreads primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Dengue 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. 

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The principal symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding. 

Generally, younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness than older children and adults, says the CDC.   

Dengue hemorrhagic fever is characterized by a fever that lasts from 2 to 7 days, with general signs and symptoms consistent with dengue fever. 

Recently, on October 31, 2018, the first preventive vaccine against the dengue virus, Dengvaxia, was granted by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a Priority Review status. 

Sanofi Pasteur's dengue vaccine candidate is considered an unmet medical need by the FDA.

The FDA has set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act action date for approving Dengvaxia of May 1, 2019.