NewsDesk @bactiman63

The Florida Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) today announced a human case of locally-acquired dengue fever. This is the sixth local transmission of dengue in Florida, five cases have been reported in Miami-Dade County.

Collier County, Florida
Image/David Benbennick

“The Florida Department of Health in Collier County has not reported a case of locally acquired dengue fever in over 20 years,” according to Kristine Hollingsworth, spokesperson for the state Department of Health in Collier.

The risk of transmission to humans has increased. Collier County Mosquito Control and DOH-Collier continue surveillance and prevention efforts.

DOH-Collier reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.

In addition to the locally transmitted cases in the Sunshine state, 216 travel associated dengue fever cases have been reported in Florida to date–Counties reporting cases were: Brevard, Broward (11), Collier, Duval (4), Escambia, Hendry, Hillsborough (17), Lee (8), Manatee (2), Miami-Dade (140), Monroe (3), Orange (6), Osceola, Palm Beach (8), Pinellas (5), Polk (3), Sarasota, St. Johns, and St. Lucie (2). Four cases were reported in non-Florida residents.

In 193 of the travel associated cases, Cuba was the country of exposure.

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Two cases met the criteria for severe dengue (dengue shock syndrome [DSS] or dengue hemorrhagic fever [DHF]). Those at greater risk for DSS and DHF include persons with previous dengue infection, pregnant women, infants, the elderly, and those with co-morbidities.

State health officials say to protect yourself from mosquitoes, you should remember to “Drain and Cover”:

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water 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 pet’s 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 skin with clothing or repellent.

  • Clothing – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
  • Repellent – Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
    • Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone and IR3535 are effective.
    • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

  • Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

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