Health Officials Confirm 1st Case of Dengue in Miami-Dade in 2022

Dengue is a virus spread through mosquito bites, which also spread the chikungunya and Zika virus

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Officials with the Florida Department of Health have issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory after the first confirmed case of dengue infection in Miami-Dade County in 2022.

This case is the first local dengue infection of the year, and has prompted the county to encourage preventative measures to be taken against the disease.

To best understand how to protect yourself against contracting this virus, learn more about the disease now putting locals at risk of infection.

What is dengue and how is it spread?

Dengue is a mosquito-borne illness, meaning it is spread to humans through the bite of Aedes mosquitos. These mosquitos are the same species responsible for spreading the chikungunya and Zika viruses.

According to the CDC, dengue is a virus that infects over 400 million people a year, killing 40,000 of these. About half of the world's population is at risk of contracting the illness.

The spread most commonly occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, as the CDC states. Many travelers contract the virus when visiting popular tourist destinations in these regions.

What are the symptoms of dengue?

Most people infected with dengue have mild or no symptoms and those that do develop symptoms typically recover after about one week, according to an FDOH news release.

Some of the symptoms include a severe headache, pain in muscles, joints and eyes, along with bleeding. Vomiting and diarrhea can occur in some cases as the symptoms are similar to the flu and other viruses.

According to DOH-Miami-Dade, the most severe forms of dengue can be fatal.

If I begin showing these symptoms, what should I do?

If any of the aforementioned symptoms are developed, it is wise to visit a health care provider or clinic as soon as possible. This is especially true for those who have recently traveled to a region in which the virus is prevalent.

Is there a vaccine for dengue?

According to the CDC, a vaccine for dengue is approved for some cases in areas where dengue is endemic (common). Endemic areas include some U.S. territories and freely associated states.

There is no current vaccine for dengue available for Florida residents, and the vaccine is not approved for U.S. travelers who are visiting an area where dengue is common.

How can I protect myself from dengue?

DOH-Miami-Dade is encouraging residents to protect themselves by using the "Drain and Cover" method, which can be done by draining standing water around homes and covering both your skin along with doors and windows. This method also encompasses maintaining swimming pools and discarding of any excess items such as tires, bottles, or appliances that are no longer in use.

The county also urges residents to ensure that any broken screens or doors be fixed promptly to avoid mosquitoes from entering the home.

In addition, adults are urged to make sure mosquito repellents are age-appropriate for use on children and to ensure that proper application is being utilized.

For more information and tips on how to protect yourself, click on this link.

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