While the cases of imported chikungunya cases are being seen in record numbers in the United States this year, due to the massive chikungunya epidemic affecting the Western hemisphere, recent data shows another mosquito borne virus, dengue fever, is down in numbers this year in the states.
From Jan.1 to Nov. 6, 2014, there has been 297 confirmed dengue fever cases reported in the United States, according to the latest Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) report. In all of 2013, 543 dengue fever cases were reported in the US.
Dengue fever (DF) is caused by any of four closely related viruses, or serotypes: dengue 1-4. Dengue is transmitted between people by the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which are found throughout the world.
In the state of Florida this year to date, a total of 78 dengue fever cases have been reported–72 imported, or travel associated cases and 6 locally acquired cases all reported from Miami-Dade County.
Based on these numbers, Florida accounts for 24 percent of all dengue in the US.
During the same period in 2013, the Florida Department of Health saw 103 travel-associated cases and 23 locally acquired cases–22 were from a dengue outbreak in Martin County, on Florida’s east coast. For all of 2013, Florida reported 120 imported and 23 local transmission of dengue (26% of all dengue in the US in 2013).
Related: Florida reports 350 travel associated chikungunya cases, increasing numbers from Puerto Rico, Jamaica
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, today about 2.5 billion people, or 40% of the world’s population, live in areas where there is a risk of dengue transmission. Dengue is endemic in at least 100 countries in Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50 to 100 million infections occur yearly, including 500,000 DHF cases and 22,000 deaths, mostly among children.
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