Officials Warn About Dengue Fever in the Florida Keys

Photo by Syed Ali on Unsplash

( – Two cases of dengue fever in the Florida Keys have been confirmed to be locally acquired.

The announcement about the locally acquired mosquito-borne illness, dengue fever, was made by Florida’s Department of Health in Monroe County.

Since then, the Monroe County Health Department and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) have increased surveillance efforts and their prevention measures.

Their efforts include conducting aerial and truck-mounted larvicide and adulticide treatments, door-to-door mosquito inspections, and improving trapping and monitoring.

Dengue fever, which is not contagious among humans and can only be passed to a person from an infected mosquito, is characterized by flu-like symptoms, including fever, joint pain, rashes, and severe muscle aches. Symptoms can appear up to two weeks after the bite.

Monroe County’s Department of Health told residents to implement basic precautions to prevent mosquito bites, including using air conditioning, keeping screens on windows, applying bug repellent to skin and clothing, wearing long sleeves, and keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible.

FKMCD encouraged property owners to remove standing water to stop mosquitoes from breeding.

They explained property owners could do this by removing empty pet bowls, buckets, pots, recycling bins, trash cans, and children’s toys that may collect water. They also encouraged owners to regularly check tarps on equipment and boats and check gutters to ensure they’re debris-free.

In addition, FKMCD reminded property owners to regularly flush fresh water through bird baths and hanging plants.

Joe Fauver, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, highlighted in a statement to Fox News Digital that “personal protection” is the best way of preventing the “spread of mosquito-borne diseases.” He noted that there aren’t currently many methods of treating the disease.

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