You may not have heard much about a nasty tropical infection called dengue fever. But that may soon change.
Federal health officials have identified the first sizable outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease in the U.S. in 55 years, in the Florida Keys. They say the southern U.S. is ripe for more.
The first cases in the recent outbreak occurred last summer and fall. In August, a New York woman recently back from a Key West vacation came down with the characteristic dengue symptoms — fever, wicked headache, chills, muscle and joint pain, and bloody urine. An alert doctor in Rochester, N.Y., diagnosed dengue fever.
Around the same time, the virus showed up in a woman and a married couple in Key West, none of whom had traveled to areas where dengue is common.
These cases triggered an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida health officials. That uncovered 23 more cases in Key West last summer and fall. Everyone recovered.
Taking the probe another step, the CDC did blood tests on randomly selected Key West households for antibodies to dengue virus, a marker of past infections. Out of 240 people tested, five percent had evidence of recent infection.
The outbreak has subsided, but the virus is still around. On April 9, a 41-year-old Key West man was hospitalized with bloody urine and abnormal blood counts. He also had the dengue virus, and hadn't traveled outside the area. That brings the Key West outbreak to 28 cases.
Dengue fever is rarely fatal, though it can be. But it's often very unpleasant, and dangerous in people with impaired immune systems and other disorders. It's the most common mosquito-borne virus in the world, causing up to 100 million infections and 25,000 deaths each year.
Until this outbreak, Florida hadn't seen dengue fever since 1934. The U.S. as a whole hasn't seen many infections since 1945, except for occasional outbreaks along the Texas-Mexico border and a 2001 outbreak in Hawaii, imported from Tahiti.
By some estimates, several million Americans, mostly immigrants and the poor, have illnesses more commonly seen in the developing world, such as dengue fever and Chagas disease. The conditions often go unrecognized by American doctors.
Infectious disease specialists have been watching for more dengue in the southern U.S. Two species of mosquitos that carry the dengue virus are widespread in this country. Dengue is the most common cause of fevers among Americans returning from the Caribbean, South America and Asia. An infected traveler can touch off a local outbreak if bitten by a stateside mosquito when there's a lot of dengue virus in his or her blood.
Perhaps most ominous, cases of dengue fever elsewhere in this hemisphere – in the Caribbean, Central and South America – have jumped from around 1 million to 4.8 million since 2000. That's why the U.S. made dengue a reportable disease last year.
Officials don't know what caused dengue to pop up in Key West. But all the ingredients are there –- abundant mosquitos of the right kind, lots of tourists exposing lots of skin, and what CDC calls "a proliferation of man-made containers able to serve as mosquito-breeding sites." Lax mosquito spraying programs has also played a role, officials say.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/05 … ng-problem
I even used a source the Leant Leftists should have no propblem with.
Of course the only thing they didn't say could have brought it here is the illegal population in FL.
CLOSE THE BORDERS!!! How many deseases have to re-appear in this country before we figure out there are valid medical reasons to require LEGAL immigration to this country.
Gotta love the source for this one.
Leave it to TMMason to post about a disease spread by mosquitios and tun the info into a rant against illegal alien mosquitos.
Funny--I heard a whole different scenario:
Dublin Mick said...
"Here it comes calling corexit poisoning dengue fever.
Indescribable, crazy pain': Surviving dengue fever
People often contract dengue fever without realizing they have it, but in some cases it can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, a severe form of the illness which causes internal bleeding and can lead to shock and even death."
Wow golly gee same symptoms as corexit rupture of red blood cells what a coincidence, uh huh uh huh.
Look for a lot of "dengue fever" in the gulf as one so called doctor has already said the symptoms between corext poisoning and dengue are hard to distinguish apart from each other."
Guess you better blame BP and the Oil Industry, not immigrants.
So your saying the CDC has got it wrong... they do not know Dengue fever whan they look at it.
Lol. And you're praising an agency of the federal government? Um hum.
My favorite theory is that global warming plays a role, as it leads the mosquito species that carry Dengue fever to move northward.
Evry one no the CDC is run by homos and atheists. This Dengue fever is a homo disease in any case - as long as you do not engage in homosexual acts with foreign mosquitoes, you should be fine.
How long a quarantine period for US travelers returning from the tropics are you recommending, TMMason. 60 days should do it huh?
You Right Wing Fascists get funnier by the day.
You all turn this into a joke... but there is a large sector of the FL community that meet the imunno compromised standard the CDC is worried about. ie the old and babies.
And I am sure there is a large homosexual population in south FL also, some of whom, and some straight folks also, who are HIV positive.
So what, we just shouldn't care about thier safety?
This is not a joke...
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