Over 1000 Exposed to Dengue Fever In Florida

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that more than 1000 people in Key West, Florida had been exposed to Dengue Fever. No infections had been reported since 1934.

Dengue Fever is common outside the US, up to one million cases are reported annually. Characterized by high fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and headache, it kills more than 25,000 people a year.

In a statement The CDC’s, Dr. Harold Margolis, expressed concern that if dengue proliferates in Key West, it could spread to other cities where the mosquito that carries the disease is common.

A tourist that had traveled to Key West was reported to have come down with Dengue after returning to New York in September of 2009, followed by 27 more cases being confirmed by the first day of 2010. Since April of this year, 14 additional cases were reported.

Tourists are being cautioned to take measures against mosquito bite. If bitten by a carrier mosquito in The Keys, there is a chance a second bite after returning home could spread the disease through local mosquitoes.

The Monroe County Health Department medical director, says risk is minimal, the use of a insect repellant containing DEET is recommended.

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