Four cases of Dengue fever have recently been confirmed in the Florida Keys, bringing the total number of cases reported this year to 26, health officials said.
The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County said in a statement on Monday that indications are the mosquito-borne infections were acquired locally. The four people have received medical treatment and are expected to make full recoveries.
Most of the Dengue fever cases are in a two-mile area of Key Largo. It is the first Dengue outbreak the area has seen in a decade.
In the summer and fall of 2009, 22 people were confirmed as having Dengue in Key West after a 70-year absence of the illness, the newspaper reported.
In 2010, 66 cases of locally acquired Dengue fever in Florida were associated with Key West, health officials said.
Dengue fever often presents flu-like symptoms with severe muscle aches and pain, fever, and a rash. The illness is rarely fatal and it is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Health officials said this is the same mosquito that carries the Zika virus, which has symptoms similar to Dengue.
Symptoms that can include fever, nausea, vomiting, rash, aches, and pains. There is no specific treatment, but most people recover in roughly a week. About 1 in 20 people who get sick with dengue will develop severe dengue.
The best way to prevent dengue and other mosquito-borne ailments is by draining standing water — like in birdbaths, buckets, or on pool covers — as stagnant water can serve as a breeding ground for these insects. Other preventative measures include covering skin with long-sleeved pants and shirts while outside and using insect repellent containing DEET.
Health officials: 4 new Dengue fever cases in Florida Keys