Florida Keys dengue fever case confirmed as US under alert for spike in mosquito-borne illnesses

Health officials have issued an advisory for the Florida Keys after two persons had dengue fever there after being bitten by infected mosquitoes.

The warning was sent out just a few days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of an elevated risk of dengue infections in the nation due to an increase in cases around the world.

According to the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County, dengue fever can bring flu-like symptoms “with severe muscle aches and joint pain, fever, and sometimes a rash.” Through bites, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit dengue to humans.

The health authority sent a mosquito-borne sickness advisory on Saturday, stating that the two confirmed dengue cases in the Keys were acquired locally.

This indicates that travel is not linked to the diseases. According to state data, dengue cases that were locally acquired this year have also been reported from Miami-Dade, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties.

The only way that dengue may infect humans is through mosquito bites; it is not infectious. Health officials in Monroe claim that in order to coordinate prevention and surveillance throughout the island chain, they are collaborating with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District.

This entails stepping up door-to-door mosquito inspections, monitoring and trapping mosquito populations more closely, and using aerial and truck-mounted mosquito spraying.

People are advised to take preventative measures to lessen the likelihood of being bitten by bloodsuckers, such as covering and draining still water and applying EPA-registered insect repellents.


The CDC released a health advice a few days ago, warning medical professionals and public health officials about the country’s elevated risk of dengue infections this year. This is when the dengue cases in the Keys occurred. This year has seen a record amount of dengue infections worldwide, as the disease has becoming more prevalent in Latin American nations. As of 2024, the CDC reports that there have been over 9.7 million dengue cases registered worldwide. Compared to 2023, that is twice as many cases.

According to Yale Climate Connections, “more erratic and frequent rainfall,” bigger storms, and scorching temperatures are “contributing to outbreaks of mosquito-borne illnesses around the world.” The dengue-transmitting Aedes aegypti mosquito is benefiting from these “warmer winters, hotter summers, and particularly milder springs and falls” by “moving into new areas and higher elevations that have historically been too harsh for their survival.”

Furthermore, the CDC caution states that 2,241 cases of dengue were reported in the United States between January and June 24, which is more cases than was anticipated for this year. Puerto Rico, which had an increase in dengue illnesses during its low dengue season and declared a public health emergency in March, accounted for more than half of the cases. The secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Health, Dr. Carlos Mellado López, stated that dengue incidences have “surpassed historical figures.”

More than 200 cases of dengue have been documented in Florida this year; however, almost all of them are linked to foreign travel, according to state data. This year, the state has seen the identification of at least ten locally acquired dengue cases, if you include the new cases in the Keys. Since last year, Miami-Dade County has been under a mosquito-borne illness warning; six of the cases have been documented there.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the majority of dengue infections result in no symptoms at all, and many even recover in just one week. However, some people do become fatally ill. According to the Mayo Clinic, severe stomach pain, continuous vomiting, trouble breathing or breathing quickly, internal bleeding, and organ failure can all occur in people with severe cases of dengue fever.

Regarding mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue, yellow fever, and oropouche, the CDC has released several travel health advisories. These have been issued for Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Nigeria, and Argentina.

The federal public health agency stated that it is encouraging physicians to “have increased suspicion of dengue” in patients who have fever and have recently traveled (within 14 days prior to feeling ill) to areas with “frequent or continuous” cases of dengue. It is also expanding laboratory capacity to improve testing for dengue.

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