Dengue Fever Found in PBC - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Dengue Fever Found in PBC

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) A health advisory has been issued in Palm Beach County, as the first case of Dengue Fever acquired within county lines has been confirmed. In some cases, the mosquito-borne illness can be deadly. The local resident who was bitten is already recovering, but battling this disease and these particular mosquitoes can be a daunting task.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that has, for the first time, infected someone inside county lines.

"The person has actually acquired it here in Palm Beach County as opposed to the others that we've seen; the other eight cases we have, up until this point," said Dr. Alina Alonso, with the Palm Beach County Public Health Department.

Alonso was part of a team of health officials who issued the advisory, warning that this is the first case of Dengue fever they have seen here but, they said, it likely will not be the last.

"They're doing better now. They are recovering. There is no treatment for the disease," Alonso said.

Symptoms can include high fever, headache, body aches, rash, muscle weakness. Doctors said the symptoms can last for up to two weeks.

Battling the illness is not easy, but neither is battling the mosquitoes themselves.

"There's cases that we have no idea are there. The key is that it doesn't become established here," said Gary Goode, with Palm Beach County Mosquito Control.

Goode has already dispatched crews to the area in central Palm Beach County where the patient is believed to have been bitten. Those crews are not conducting typical spraying of pesticides at dawn or dusk, because the mosquitoes carrying Dengue are flying - and biting - in the middle of the day, in areas where there is even a small amount of standing water.

"Just making sure you don't have those mosquitoes around your home eliminates the possibility of the transmission occurring," said Goode.

Health officials will not say where the patient was bitten or where mosquito patrols are focusing their attention. They said it does not matter, because the next bite could be anywhere. To better protect yourself, get rid of any standing water in your yard. Make sure your screens are in good condition. Wear lightweight long sleeve clothing and pants, and use insect repellents that contain DEET.

The Health Department is advising anyone experiencing symptoms to see their medical provider or visit the nearest hospital or clinic right away.


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