Dengue in the U.S.

Dengue is becoming a life-threatening issue in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a report about a woman in Texas who contracted Dengue, was misdiagnosed as West Nile virus, and died within three (3) months of becoming ill while abroad in Mexico. This case study suggests that infectious disease specialists at hospitals across the United States should develop increased diagnostic and intervention capacities for effectively addressing Dengue cases, whether imported or domestic.

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports a cumulative 3,973 estimated cases of Dengue in all states except for Alaska, plus 6,836 cases along the Texas border. In addition, 34 states have county level reports exhibiting presence of the infectious Aedes aegypti mosquito, suggesting the US has a national risk of localized infections.

The United States has a history of multiple disabling outbreaks of Dengue over the past two centuries, in particular within the Texas, Louisiana and Florida and other southern states. Causation for the recent return of Dengue is still under investigation by health and environmental authorities, plus the US military. However, multiple health risks include the following:

•  US citizens and US Military personnel traveling overseas to any of the 130+ countries with a high prevalence of dengue fever

 

•  Cargo such as luggage or shipped products, may bring live infectious Aedes aegypti mosquitos to the US from those same nations in cargo containers

 

•  Rising water levels, decreased draining and cutting of swamp areas, and related environmental risks expanding breeding grounds for Aedes aegypti mosquitos

For more information, please visit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and download their study:

 

“Fever Pitch: Mosquito-Borne Dengue Fever Threat Spreading in the Americas”  http://www.nrdc.org/health/dengue/ 

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