Dengue Fever Outbreak Alert in Florida Keys: Mosquitoes May Carry Deadly Disease – Health Experts Sound Alarm

KEY WEST, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health has issued a warning regarding the presence of disease-carrying mosquitoes in the Keys after two residents were diagnosed with dengue fever in the upper islands.

These cases, which were locally acquired, bring the total of reported cases in the Lower 48 to seven and eight this year, with over 700 cases being travel-related.

Following a notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of a surge in cases across the Americas, the state of Florida is on high alert. There have been nearly 10 million reported cases globally, surpassing last year’s count.

In response to the new cases, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has ramped up door-to-door inspections, expanded spraying operations, and deployed additional mosquito traps to combat the spread of the virus.

Dengue fever, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is not contagious. Health experts warn that the mosquito species feeds throughout the day, not just at dawn and dusk, posing an increased risk to humans.

Symptoms of dengue fever include aches, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and fatigue. While there is no known cure for the virus, symptoms can be treated with medication.

It is crucial to note that infection with one serotype of the dengue virus does not provide immunity against the others, meaning individuals can be infected multiple times.

Mosquitoes in Florida tend to thrive in warm, humid conditions, with stagnant water providing ideal breeding grounds. Preventive measures, such as using repellents, wearing appropriate clothing, and installing screens, are essential in combating the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.