Dengue Fever Outbreak Reported In Key West
The Monroe County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control have confirmed multiple cases of Dengue Fever have appeared in 27 residents of Key West since July 2009. The latest case was reported on April 13, 2010.
According to the CDC, the latest patient was a 41-year-old Key West resident who was hospitalized with symptoms including: a low platelet count, a decrease in white blood cells, joint pain, muscle pain, and others. The man had not traveled outside the U.S. in over a year, which means the disease was most likely contracted in the Keys.
The CDC said it conducted a random sample of 240 people in Key West showed 5 percent had evidence of recent dengue infection in September 2009. Key West doctors also submitted specimens of people who had symptoms consistent with dengue and found 42 percent of those samples showed dengue fever.
The outbreak in Key West, as the CDC is calling it, is the first outbreak of the disease in the continental United States outside of the Texas-Mexico border since 1945. The outbreak is the first in Florida since 1934. The CDC said it hasn't determined why the disease has resurfaced in Key West.
According to the CDC, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has increased the frequency of truck and aerial spraying to control mosquito populations and is going door-to-door to find and eliminate mosquito breeding sites.
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