Miami-Dade mosquito-control workers scour county in fight against Zika
A locally acquired case of dengue fever has been confirmed in Miami-Dade, the Florida Department of Health said in an advisory on mosquito-borne illnesses.
The warning Tuesday is the second reported locally acquired case of dengue fever in Florida this year — both in Miami-Dade. The first case was in March.
This year, the health department has confirmed 75 cases of dengue fever among Floridians who acquired the disease while traveling outside the country. Only one other locally transmitted case of dengue fever has been reported this year, according to the health department’s statewide arbovirus surveillance report.
The department did not identify the person who was infected or the area of Miami-Dade where the transmission may have occurred. But the agency added that there’s a risk of more infections.
“There is a heightened concern of additional residents becoming ill,” the department said in a news release.
Daily rains and flooding have only made mosquitoes a greater concern.
With the announcement, Miami-Dade became the eighth county in Florida this year to fall under a mosquito-borne illness advisory. The others are Bay, Calhoun, DeSoto, Holmes, Orange, Suwanee and Walton counties.
Dengue fever is a painful disease that can cause high fever, severe headache, muscle and joint pain and other complications — and can be fatal in extreme cases. There is no treatment or vaccine.
The health department, working alongside Miami-Dade’s Mosquito Control and Habitat Management Division, urged residents to take precautions against mosquito bites.
Dengue fever is related to the viruses that cause West Nile infection and yellow fever and, like Zika, spreads primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Each year, several cases are reported in Florida among people who travel to areas where dengue is present, such as the Caribbean, Central and South America and Asia.
▪“Drain and cover,” the health department says. It’s going to keep raining — it’s South Florida and summer — so drain water from garbage cans and lids, gutters and planters and flower pots around the yard. This will give mosquitoes fewer places to breed.
▪ Get rid of old tires, drums, bottles and other broken appliances you might have out in the yard.
▪ Don’t overlook boats on trailers. They gather water. Also splash the water off of pool covers so there are fewer tempting standing puddles of water for the pests to seek.
▪ Cover up. Wear long sleeves, shoes and socks and long pants when outdoors. We know it’s hot.
▪ Spray it on. Use repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (except on children 3 and younger; check precautions first), para-menthane-diol, and IR3535.
For more information, visit DOH’s website at www.floridahealth.gov/%5C/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne- diseases/index.html or contact your county health department.