Health Care

Three more dengue fever cases in Miami-Dade; county under mosquito-borne illness alert

Three more locally transmitted cases of dengue fever have been confirmed, bringing the county’s total to eight so far this year, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County announced Friday.

Miami-Dade is the only county in the state to be under a mosquito-borne illness alert.

Last month, Broward had its first case of 2019. Broward is the only county other than Miami-Dade to have a locally transmitted case so far this year.

The health department said Friday that two of the three new cases “appear to be related.”

Dengue, which can cause symptoms including a fever, headache, eye pain and vomiting, is a virus spread through bites from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The Aedes mosquitoes also spread chikungunya and Zika virus.

So far this year, there have been 235 cases of travel-related dengue fever in the state, health department data shows. Of those cases, 146 were people who had visited Cuba.

The health department encourages people to “remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection.”

Some tips from the health department include:

Draining water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers.

Discarding items including tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, where water can collect.

Emptying and cleaning birdbaths and pet bowls frequently.

Protecting boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.

Maintaining swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated.

Wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.

Applying mosquito repellent with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and IR3535 to bare skin and clothing.

Covering doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

For more information on dengue, visit the department of health’s website at http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/dengue/index.html.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.
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