Dengue Outbreak

Apr 16, 2024 | News

An Update from FCAAP’s Emerging Infections Task Force

Dengue, the most common mosquito-borne virus worldwide, is transmitted via the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It is endemic in more than 100 countries in tropical and subtropical climates including Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and American Samoa. As the temperatures start rising in Florida and considering the recent announcement of a current outbreak by Health officials in Puerto Rico, we encourage providers in Florida to keep Dengue in the differential diagnosis of febrile illness in the setting of recent travel to endemic areas and areas with ongoing outbreaks.

In addition to fever, other symptoms include nausea, emesis, rash, and body aches (muscle, joint or bone pain or behind the eyes). In severe cases, shock and internal bleeding can occur. Symptoms typically last 2-17 days. Vertical transmission during pregnancy or delivery can also occur. Prevention measures if traveling to an endemic area include the use of insect repellent, wearing clothing that covers exposed skin, installing mosquito nets on beds and wire mesh on doors and windows, and eliminating possible mosquito breeding sites by preventing water from accumulating.

In the US, the Dengue vaccine (Dengvaxia) is available for children ages 9 to 16 years old who have laboratory-confirmed evidence of a previous Dengue infection and who live in areas where Dengue is endemic, including Puerto Rico. Because the second Dengue infection is most likely to cause severe disease, vaccination is recommended. There is no dengue vaccine available for adults in the US.

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