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 http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/dengue/index.html.