Womenz Magazine

Dengue virus spreads across Florida counties, health officials say

Dengue virus
Credit: istockphoto

Following a surge in dengue virus cases, health officials in Florida have issued a mosquito-borne illness alert for Broward County, which encompasses Fort Lauderdale. This move sees Broward County joining Miami-Dade County, where the illness has already shown considerable presence.

According to the Florida Department of Health’s recent arbovirus surveillance report, spanning from July 30 to August 5, two new locally acquired dengue cases have emerged in Broward County. Overall, Florida has reported 10 such cases this year, with a significant chunk originating from Miami-Dade County. Notably, the majority of these cases surfaced in July.

Detailing the current situation, the department mentioned, “Of the total cases, ten have been identified through PCR serotyping.” The data contrasts with last year’s statistics when Broward County recorded just two locally acquired cases.

Furthermore, nearly 200 individuals in Florida with recent travel histories to dengue-endemic regions were diagnosed with the virus. Among these cases, ten involved non-residents of Florida, and one was classified as a severe dengue case.

While dengue isn’t traditionally found in Florida, returning travelers can inadvertently introduce the virus to the local mosquito population. The risk profile for dengue encompasses those with prior infections, pregnant women, infants, the elderly, and individuals with existing health conditions. It’s crucial to note that severe dengue illness isn’t exclusive to these groups.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has registered 225 dengue cases across the U.S. in 2023. The gravity of dengue’s prevalence was recognized in 2010 when it was designated a notifiable condition.

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