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Florida health officials reported four additional locally acquired dengue fever cases in Miami-Dade County the week ending December 24.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

This brings the total cases in the county to 59 this year and 63 statewide. In addition to Miami-Dade County, four cases were reported this year in Collier, Broward (2) and Volusia counties.

All the autochthonous dengue fever reported in the United States have been from Florida this year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

525 locally acquired dengue cases have also been reported in Puerto Rico.

In addition to the local transmission of dengue in Florida, more than 800 travel associated dengue cases have been reported, in which ten cases met the criteria for severe dengue (dengue shock syndrome [DSS] or dengue hemorrhagic fever [DHF]).

More than 1,000 travel associated cases have been reported nationally.

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Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are four closely related but antigenically different serotypes of the virus that can cause dengue (DEN1, DEN 2, DEN 3, DEN 4).

Dengue Fever (DF) – marked by an onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and pain in muscles and joints. Some may also have a rash and varying degree of bleeding from various parts of the body (including nose, mouth and gums or skin bruising).Dengue has a wide spectrum of infection outcome (asymptomatic to symptomatic). Symptomatic illness can vary from dengue fever (DF) to the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).

Image/CDC

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) – is a more severe form, seen only in a small proportion of those infected. DHF is a stereotypic illness characterized by 3 phases; febrile phase with high continuous fever usually lasting for less than 7 days; critical phase (plasma leaking) lasting 1-2 days usually apparent when fever comes down, leading to shock if not detected and treated early; convalescence phase lasting 2-5 days with improvement of appetite, bradycardia (slow heart rate), convalescent rash (white patches in red background), often accompanied by generalized itching (more intense in palms and soles), and diuresis (increase urine output).

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Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) — Shock syndrome is a dangerous complication of dengue infection and is associated with high mortality. Severe dengue occurs as a result of secondary infection with a different virus serotype. Increased vascular permeability, together with myocardial dysfunction and dehydration, contribute to the development of shock, with resultant multiorgan failure.