The Seminole and Orange County Health Departments are investigating a locally acquired case of dengue fever in a 19-year-old UCF student who lives in Seminole County. He is recovering from his illness.
Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted by a type of mosquito common to the southeastern United States and the tropics. It is not spread from person to person. Mosquitoes usually bite at dusk and dawn, but the mosquitoes that carry dengue bite during the day as well – especially indoors, in shady areas or when the weather is cloudy.
The symptoms of dengue fever include fever (over 101 degrees Fahrenheit); severe headache; severe pain behind the eyes; muscle, joint and bone pain, rash; loss of appetite; nausea; and vomiting. There is no specific medication or vaccine for dengue fever. If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with dengue fever, please call your healthcare provider to determine whether you need to be seen.
You can help to lower mosquito populations by taking appropriate measures to guard against these diseases by practicing Drain and Cover.
DRAIN standing water:
• Drain water from garbage cans, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
• Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.
• Empty and clean birdbaths and pets’ water bowls at least once or twice a week.
• Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
• Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
COVER your skin with:
• CLOTHING – If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.
• REPELLENT – Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
• Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
COVER doors and windows with screens:
• Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.
Both Seminole and Orange County Mosquito Control are inspecting the areas around the county line by UCF and treating as appropriate.
In the Western Hemisphere, the Aedes aegypti (pronounced edis egyp-tie) mosquito is the main transmitter of dengue viruses. In some cases, the Aedes albopictus mosquito has also transmitted the disease. Both of these mosquitoes are present in Central Florida. It is estimated that there are more than 100 million cases of dengue worldwide each year.
For more information on dengue fever, go to www.cdc.gov/dengue. For mosquito disease activity across the state, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne-diseases/surveillance.html.