Palm Beach County Health Department reported it’s first locally acquired case of dengue this morning, 13 Oct. 2011. While eight other cases have been reported this year, this is the first infection acquired in Palm Beach County.
Dr. Alina Alonso, director of Palm Beach County Health Department, recommends that residents use insect repellent containing DEET, wear long sleeves and pants and to keep windows and doors screened or closed. Also recommended is the elimination of any stagnant water in residential areas, as the dengue-carrying mosquito prefers to lay its eggs in still water. Alonso states that the health department has been monitoring for dengue due to the increase in cases in surrounding areas. Following the confirmation of Palm Beach’s first case, Alonso issued a Mosquito Borne Illness Advisory.
Dengue is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the virus from person to person through bites. Symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, joint pain, rash and mild bleeding from either the nose or the gums. Symptoms usually begin one to four days after infection and can last anywhere from three to ten days.
Currently, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for dengue. Those diagnosed with dengue are advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to alert their doctors, avoid dehydration with an increased fluid intake, rest and use painkillers for relief.
To view dengue activity around the world, please visit the HealthMap/CDC dengue map, or Google Dengue Trends, a tool using aggregated Google data to estimate dengue activity. For other HealthMap articles on dengue, click here or here.