FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Florida Departments of Health in Broward County and Miami-Dade have conﬁrmed locally-acquired cases of dengue fever in recent days, leading ofﬁcials to remind residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.
Dengue is a virus spread through mosquito bites through the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes which also spread chikungunya and Zika virus. Ofﬁcials said most people infected with dengue have mild or no symptoms, and those who do develop symptoms recover after about one week.
The common symptoms of dengue, said health ofﬁcials, are fever and one or more of the following: headache; eye pain (typically behind the eyes); muscle, joint, or bone pain; rash; nausea and vomiting; or unusual bleeding (nose or gum bleed, small red spots under the skin, or unusual bruising). Severe dengue can occur resulting in shock, internal bleeding, and death. Those who develop the mentioned symptoms are advised visit their health care provider or local clinic.
Health ofﬁcials advise the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts by remembering 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 pets’ 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, paramenthane-diol, and IR3535 are effective.
• Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
Tips on Repellent Use
• Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
• Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are generally recommended. Other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellents contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, paramenthane-diol, or IR3535. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.