Miami Herald (Sunday)

ARE YOU AT RISK FOR DENGUE? ARE MIAMI MOSQUITOES A DANGER?

Here are the warning signs

- BY ADLAI COLEMAN acoleman@miamiheral­d.com SEE DENGUE, 6C

No one likes mosquito season. And some of these bloodsucke­rs can be more than just a nuisance. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases.

Health officials are focusing on dengue fever, with reports on the rise and new cases confirmed in the Florida Keys. Over 250 cases have been reported in Florida this year, more than double this time last year.

“It’s concerning,” said Dr. Paola Lichtenber­ger, a tropical-disease expert and professor of medicine at the University of Miami. “It will not turn on all the red alerts yet, but it definitely raised a huge red flag.”

Lichtenber­ger isn’t the only one raising red flags. On June 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an “alert for increased risk of dengue virus infections in the United States.” The Florida Department of Health declared a Mosquito Borne Illness Alert for dengue in the Florida Keys. And Miami-Dade County has been under the alert since last year.

Here’s what to know about dengue fever in South Florida:

WHAT IS DENGUE FEVER?

Dengue fever is a viral, mosquito-borne infection found in tropical and subtropica­l regions across the world. Each year, dengue is responsibl­e for an estimated 100 million to 400 million infections, according to the World Health Organizati­on.

Dengue infections often come without symptoms. Only about 1 in 4 people infected with dengue will become sick, according to the CDC. But dengue virus can lead to a severe infection that can even kill you.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DENGUE FEVER?

The most common initial symptom of dengue is fever, sometimes with vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain behind the eyes, and a rash.

Symptoms usually appear seven to 10 days after an infection and typically last two to seven days.

More serious symptoms of den

 ?? JAMES GATHANY AP ?? The Florida Department of Health issued a mosquito-borne-illness alert for dengue fever in Miami-Dade County.
JAMES GATHANY AP The Florida Department of Health issued a mosquito-borne-illness alert for dengue fever in Miami-Dade County.
 ?? AUIMEESRI Getty Images/iStockphot­o ??
AUIMEESRI Getty Images/iStockphot­o

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