Health Care

Is mosquito repellent part of the daily routine? More Miami-Dade dengue cases reported

Do you wear mosquito repellent? Have you covered old planters or other outdoor containers so water can’t collect? Is your boat or car covered with a tarp?

Health officials in Miami-Dade are hoping residents are answering yes to those questions and taking mosquito protection seriously.

That’s because the number of locally acquired cases of dengue fever in Miami-Dade continues to rise. This week, two additional locally acquired cases were reported, bringing the county’s total to 10, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County announced Friday. The county remains under a mosquito-borne illness alert.

The health department said the new cases appeared to be related to previous cases.

While other counties have reported travel-related cases, Miami-Dade is one of only two counties to have locally acquired cases. Broward has reported one case.

Dengue spreads through the bite of a Aedes aegypti mosquito. The Aedes mosquitoes also spread chikungunya and Zika virus. While some people may not experience any symptoms, dengue can cause a fever, headache, eye pain and vomiting.

As of Oct. 5, there have been 248 travel-related dengue fever cases, with most of the cases tied to Cuba.

Here’s some tips from the health department to help you protect yourself:

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

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

Empty and clean birdbaths and pet bowls frequently.

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

Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated.

Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.

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

Cover 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

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.