The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County (DOH-Monroe) has received laboratory confirmation of two additional cases of Dengue fever.
All indications of these infections show that they were locally acquired. The infected individuals have received medical treatment and are expected to make a full recovery.
DOH-Monroe and Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) are working to continue surveillance and prevention efforts.
Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is assisting with these investigations and has intensified its mosquito control activities in the Key Largo (Upper Keys) Area. There are now 16 confirmed cases of Dengue this year in Monroe County. DOH-Monroe and the Division of Disease Control and Health Protection are currently conducting epidemiological studies to determine the origin and extent of these infections.
FKMCD has increased inspectors in the Upper Keys/Key Largo area from the usual three, to on any given day, 4 to 16 inspectors. That shows the concern for the Key Largo dengue hotspot considering there are just 32 inspectors for the entire county, according to the FKMCD Public Information Officer Chad Huff. They are canvasing the neighborhoods, going door-to-door inspecting for water-filled recepticles that make breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti, referred to as the Dengue or Yellow Fever Mosquito, the most common container breeding mosquito in the Keys. Commonly associated with people and homes, the Aedes aegypti is found breeding in containers like trash cans, flower pots, buckets, coolers, children’s toys, birdbaths, dog bowls, kayaks, canoes etc. The best way to eliminate this mosquito is to dump water around your home and eliminate places for water to collect after a rain event.
This mosquito is a vector for several diseases such as Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever and others.
Aerial larviciding treatments are occuring frequently from a helicoptor taking off, spraying and reloading at Key Largo School.
Dengue can present as a severe flu-like illness with severe muscle aches and pain, fever and sometimes a rash. Usually, there are no respiratory symptoms. Symptoms of Dengue will appear within 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Dengue fever is not contagious but is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.
The emergence of these Dengue cases reinforces the importance for the public to prevent insect bites and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure. These measures include intact windows and screens and the use of air conditioning, keeping the area around your residence free from containers that collect water, wearing protective clothing and the appropriate use of insect repellents.