THURSDAY, June 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The demise of a Miami lady in her 30s from regionally acquired dengue fever highlights the necessity for consciousness of a probably deadly mosquito-borne virus that is now discovered within the United States.
Once solely seen in scorching and steamy tropical or subtropical locales, dengue has been on the rise in components of the southern United States as a consequence of international warming, journey and different elements. While most Americans nonetheless contract the illness whereas touring to components of the world the place dengue is endemic, there have additionally been circumstances of regionally acquired dengue within the United States, together with a 2019 outbreak in Miami.
This can happen when an area mosquito feeds on an individual who’s contaminated with dengue after which go the illness on to others.
Spread by a chunk from an contaminated Aedes mosquito, dengue could cause a excessive fever, rash and muscle or joint ache. In extreme circumstances, dengue could cause probably deadly bleeding and shock. Each 12 months, as much as 400 million folks will change into contaminated with dengue and about 22,000 will die from this illness, in line with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2019, Florida noticed 413 of us recognized with dengue, most of whom had not too long ago traveled to Cuba. This outbreak sired 18 regionally acquired circumstances, together with one which resulted within the younger Miami lady’s demise. To decide the supply of the an infection, docs reviewed the lady’s journey historical past and carried out genetic sequencing of the virus, which confirmed that it was regionally acquired.
Her story is the idea of a letter within the June 10 situation of the New England Journal of Medicine. It ought to function a cautionary story, mentioned co-author Dr. Stephen Morris, an infectious illness specialist at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
“Florida is a sort of a quasi-endemic area for dengue now,” he mentioned. “We should expect this as a risk moving forward, and doctors in the southern U.S. should know that dengue is on the table as a possible diagnosis.”
There is not any broadly obtainable vaccine to forestall dengue, Morris mentioned. To stave off an infection, “use a good bug spray, cover your skin and avoid areas with a lot of standing water,” he mentioned. Mosquitoes like to put eggs close to standing water in buckets, bowls, flower pots and vases.
Screens on doorways and home windows may also maintain mosquitoes out, Morris mentioned.
There is not any fast check for dengue both so it may well take a number of days to make a prognosis, defined examine co-author Tyler Sharp, an epidemiologist on the CDC’s dengue department in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A delay in prognosis performed a task within the Miami lady’s demise. “If you think it could be dengue, treat it as if they have it, and if it’s negative, there is no downside,” Sharp mentioned.
Treatment entails hydration and shut monitoring of significant indicators. “Tell your doctor if you have been to an area where dengue is endemic or if someone you know has recently been diagnosed with dengue as it may not be front of mind to many doctors,” he mentioned.
Controlling mosquitoes on the group stage has been tougher, mentioned Sharp.
“We need to raise awareness and develop, evaluate and ultimately implement tools to fight dengue in South Florida and elsewhere,” he mentioned.
There are methods of lowering the mosquito inhabitants which are at the moment being explored. For instance, as a part of a controversial examine, Florida launched genetically modified male mosquitoes that go on a gene that kills feminine offspring earlier than they mature. Only feminine Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can chunk and unfold dengue.
Unless and till the mosquito inhabitants is decreased, “it is very important to be aware of dengue in Florida, Texas and Hawaii as we know that mosquito vector is there,” mentioned Yesim Tozan, an assistant professor of worldwide well being on the NYU School of Global Public Health in New York City.
Fortunately, most native outbreaks within the United States have been restricted as mosquitoes cannot fly too far, she mentioned.
“We need to be vigilant about fever and illness particularly when we know mosquitoes are active,” Tozan mentioned. Mosquito season spans from spring to fall.
“Climate change is making us see severe weather like unexpected rain and fluctuating temperatures and mosquitoes are very sensitive to this, so all of a sudden we have breeding activity when we normally would not,” defined Tozan, who was not concerned within the new report.
“Be an educated traveler,” she mentioned. “If you are coming back from areas where dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent, share your travel history with your doctor.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affords extra on dengue prevention.
SOURCES: Stephen Morris, MD, infectious illness specialist, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami; Tyler Sharp, PhD, epidemiologist, CDC Dengue Branch, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Yesim Tozan, PhD, assistant professor, international well being, NYU School of Global Public, New York City; New England Journal of Medicine, June 10, 2021