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July 13th, 2010
05:52 PM ET

Dengue reappears in the United States

A study released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health finds dengue virus is showing up in the Florida Keys.  According to the report,  approximately 5 percent of Key West residents, or about 1,000 people, were exposed to it in 2009.  So far this year, there have been 12 confirmed cases of dengue in the Key West area.  The last time there was a dengue outbreak in Florida was 1934.

""These people had not traveled outside of Florida, so we need to determine if these cases are an isolated occurrence or if dengue has once again become endemic in the continental United States," said Harold Margolis, chief of the dengue branch of CDC in a press release.  "We are concerned that if dengue gains a foothold in Key West, it will travel to other Southern cities ... like Miami."

Dengue is the most common virus transmitted by mosquitoes in the world.  It causes up to 100 million infections and kills 25,000 people every year.  Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas, according to the World Health Organization.

Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain.  There is no vaccine to prevent dengue, but early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of severe illness. Locally acquired dengue outbreaks in the United States are rare.  There have been a few confirmed cases along the Texas-Mexico border in recent years.


soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. BobInIrvine

    Bugsy, your jokes will never fly.

    July 13, 2010 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • evoc

      Scratch: That's harsh.

      July 13, 2010 at 23:38 | Report abuse |
  2. stevan

    this may be the best thing to ever happen to those who live in areas affected by dengue. we might actually see a vaccine or the like now. not that having people sick is ever good...and it is s*** timing eh. i dont really know what my point is anymore

    July 13, 2010 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrBo

      So, since it's been seen in the Florida Keys a vaccine will now magically appear?

      HAHAHAHAHA!!! Funny.

      This has been killing people all over the world for eons, but now that it's been seen in mainland USA it's important enough for a vaccine.

      The USA has been experiencing this all along. Or rather, it's tropical territories have: Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam... but I guess the people living there are not important enough for you.

      July 13, 2010 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
    • MrBo

      Maybe we should hope that HIV gets to the USA. Then a vaccine will magically appear for that one too!

      Oh wait...

      July 13, 2010 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
    • K

      Vaccine? Why have vaccines when celebrity whackaloons will convince the media that they cause autism?

      July 13, 2010 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
    • stevan

      wow mr bo you sound like a total d***. well if you look into it you will see that much, much less is spent on flaviviruses than others. the reason they are underfunded is because they tend to afflict hot, equitorial regions (meaning poor). mentioning aids is redundant because it is an ungodly bastard of a virus that has only been well known for 30 years. basically i wasnt trying to say its a good thing but it may result in treatment.

      July 13, 2010 at 20:02 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Clint

      It is not that we can not make a vaccine... it is the problem with Dengue itself. There are 4 variants of Dengue and it is normally ok to get afflicted with one of them (typical flu-like symptoms). However, the real problem becomes when you are afflicted by a 2nd or 3rd different version at a later date in life. This causes a massive immune memory response which can potentially cause death. Therefore, many people throughout the world have been working on a safe tetra-variant vaccine. Otherwise, you would just be setting people up for a dangerous situation if you used only 1, 2, or 3 of the variants in a vaccine.

      July 13, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse |
    • stevan

      very informative dr. clint. i knew there were multiple "strains" but i had no idea about the whole immunity memory response. sounds like a terrible disease. fortunately i live in canada and mosquitoes have to wear winter jackets here haha (terrible joke)

      July 13, 2010 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Very good point actually... Laugh if you will, but plagues that affect countries largely unable to pay for medicine amazingly don't get much attention. (i.e. malaria)

      July 13, 2010 at 22:09 | Report abuse |
    • hopmah

      1. There are three serotypes of Dengue virus.
      2. While an immune reaction does develope from infection it does not protect against the other strains.
      3. Unique feature of Dengue is that if you have been exposed to one strain and subsequently are exposed to a different strain you will most likely develop a hemorrhagic form of the disease, think EBOLA. This is most often fatal.
      4. It was wiped out in the US but is epidemic in other parts of the World. If it becomes wide spread here it will have very deadly impacts on the population and dramatic impacts on the health care system.
      5. We need to secure our borders, re-institute Quarantine of persons entering the US to prevent the entry of novel diseases, think West Nile Virus. We used to have Malaria endemic to the US as well, heaven help us if it gets reintroduced. We can not afford to allow open entry and travel into this country in the face of diseases for which we have no treatment or immunity. "Read the Coming Plague"

      July 13, 2010 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      Well done in any case, made me laugh.

      July 13, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
    • Mario

      Thats a little egotistical don't you think?

      July 14, 2010 at 06:50 | Report abuse |
    • Truthist

      Not to put too fine a point on it, hopmah, but there are indeed four distinct serotypes of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4.

      July 14, 2010 at 07:46 | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      You can get 4 strains of dengue, I suffered 3 of them, one I caught overseas but got sick while in Miami. Dengue used to be "common" as high as Georgia, it was called "breakbone fever". It's very debilitating, you bleed easily and could actually kill you.

      July 17, 2010 at 21:48 | Report abuse |
  3. Acaraho

    Anyone who jokes about disease needs a reality check. Mosquitoes kill over 2 million people per year earning the title deadliest creature on Earth.

    July 13, 2010 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob

      ....and dogs too!!!!

      July 13, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • logan

      2 million people a year in developing countries where there is little to no health care, all of this fear mongering

      July 13, 2010 at 23:14 | Report abuse |
    • zero population growth

      To play Devil's Advocate, just think what it would be like if Malaria were cured and those 2M people DIDN'T die each year? They would die from war and starvtion as they fought over vanished resources. Plagues should be controlled only when the human population has demonstrated control over itself. The sad thing is the technology is readily available and cheap but cultural factors in many regions still promote constant birthing. I would donate large sums to Feed The Children and other agencies if they also mandated 5 year birth control for the women in receiving families. Feeding their kids allows them to birth even more, who also become dependant.

      July 14, 2010 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
  4. Tex

    The movement of dengue north is a consequence of global warming.

    Get ready, America. As the US warms, other disease carrying mosquitoes will survive and thrive in new places farther north.

    July 13, 2010 at 19:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LOL

      Idiot!

      July 13, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
    • Darth Cheney

      Sorry, LOL. Tex nailed it and you're the idiot.

      July 13, 2010 at 19:36 | Report abuse |
    • Faintfuzzy

      Sooo...1934 was a big year for global warming?

      July 13, 2010 at 19:52 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy Callan

      Years ago, scientists predicted a moving northward of tropical diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, due to global warming. We're now living that reality.

      As the climate warms, these tropical diseases will spread even further northward.

      Yet another reason to do something about climate change!

      July 13, 2010 at 20:15 | Report abuse |
    • Moira

      " ... scientists predicted a moving northward of tropical diseases."

      Yeah, and an Octopus predicted all the World Cup winners.

      July 13, 2010 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
    • Lexicon

      You really didn't need to capitalize "octopus"....

      July 13, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
    • Ballz

      That's Mr. Octopus to you

      July 14, 2010 at 08:18 | Report abuse |
    • jusbox

      "Yeah, and an Octopus predicted all the World Cup winners."

      and the octopus was right wasn't he?

      July 14, 2010 at 09:05 | Report abuse |
    • RabidinL.A.

      There will be more most definitely. Mexico is full of it and it abounds during hurricane season, which is now. Better start checkin' California now too. Americans are not familiar with it and neither are many of its doctors, making diagnosis harder as it normally wouldn't come to mind as a possibility. Mexico has health care, a socialized form, they fumigate against it (I don't want to know with what, they were still using DDT last I knew of), and they also provide public service messages on how to try and curb it – by getting rid of any standing water. I've seen swarms of mosquitos fly out of one coke bottle...

      July 15, 2010 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
  5. john

    dengue is terrible...explosions from both ends

    July 13, 2010 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • spaz

      i'm still laughing about this comment

      July 13, 2010 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
    • zero population growth

      Dengue is also called "bone break fever" and feels like influenza + stomach flu x 1,000! Biexplosional sounds pretty accurate to me. I know several people who have survived type I dengue and it was really bad.

      July 14, 2010 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
  6. Realistic

    Tex, you are un uneducated moron. Guess it was global warming in 1934 during the last outbreak, in in 1879 during the one previous. Get a life, then a girlfriend you global warming p i m p.

    July 13, 2010 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pete

      Uh- it's because in 1934 and 1879 they didn't have the massive mosquito control programs we have now.

      July 14, 2010 at 08:42 | Report abuse |
  7. Michael

    Why is it these message boards on CNN are just filled with people calling each other morons and idiots? There's nothing meaningful here, just insults being flung back and forth.

    July 13, 2010 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carl LaFong

      If you think this is bad, read some posts after an Obama or Israel story. Lots of chest thumping and cross burning stuff.

      July 13, 2010 at 20:01 | Report abuse |
    • Opkode

      Isn't it great!!! I come here daily for a good dose of comedy.

      July 13, 2010 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
    • Lexicon

      this is actually tame to the norm.... so far no hurling of epithets... but the night is young....

      July 13, 2010 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
    • SillyMe

      To be sure someone is BOUND to mention 2012 or divine retribution or something along those lines. Those lines of reasoning are always fun.

      July 13, 2010 at 23:08 | Report abuse |
    • idiot

      so are you moron?

      July 13, 2010 at 23:11 | Report abuse |
  8. bozo

    bad news! They better nip this in the bud.. Call bone break fever due to bone pain in the old days.. got a lot of g.i.'s in wwII

    July 13, 2010 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Katie

    Global warming has nothing to do with it, just as it has nothing to do with malaria rates. Prevention has everything to do with it.

    July 13, 2010 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. tsosj

    I moved to Puerto Rico in March. This stuff scares the crap out of me. I've gone through more cans of Off down here in 4 months than I did in Minnesota in 2 years.

    July 13, 2010 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Carl LaFong

    Because of thirty years of Reagan / Thatcher/ Friedmanomics, we are now the world's largest exporter of raw materials and the worlds largest importer of finished goods. A third world country. Now we have dengue fever. Just like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Kampuchea in the 60s and 70s. What the.....

    July 13, 2010 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • stevan

      we can blame a lot on those douches but i dont know if dengue fever falls under that category. but at least we can all comfort ourselves with crap from dollar stores that probably contain trace amounts of lead

      July 13, 2010 at 20:14 | Report abuse |
  12. Jim Bob

    "Let's go to Key-y-y-y West, the place that is the best, (gonna have some fun, in the sun)" -Village People

    July 13, 2010 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. teresa, ohio

    hmmm, my ex hubby was just sick and had every single symptom listed, but we are in ohio. His fever was only 101 but that is high from his regular 97 temp. In one 10 hour period, he popped about 12 tylenol. He was having nightmares, talking in his sleep. He said he has never felt this weird in his whole life. What is it that makes people die from it? I better go google this... hmmm

    July 13, 2010 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Zachary

      OR you could take him to the doctor? What is with people and not treating their medical problems seriously? Doctors go through years and years of training, stuff that only smart people can understand, and that's why you go to them for your health problems and not try to diagnose yourself. Seriously, people, stop underestimating your own ignorance.

      July 13, 2010 at 21:38 | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      Wow, yeah.....would've gone to a doctor with that one....

      July 13, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      Or, the 12 Tylenol could have something to do with that.

      July 13, 2010 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
    • Brainiac

      Perhaps his symptoms might come from the antifreeze-laden tea you gave him back then, you never know!

      July 14, 2010 at 00:38 | Report abuse |
  14. bengay

    This sounds like terrorism on the part of mosquitoes... get them critters Barack... before long, the media will turn this into the next Anthrax fad, or the Swine flu, H1N1, whatever... looks like we got the new health terrorism topic picked out for the media to feed on. I can't wait to hear about how many people died in 1934...

    July 13, 2010 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • stevan

      so true...its one of those things that needs to brought to light but you know the 24-hour news stations are gonna over-report it to the point that people would rather die than hear more doomsday reports

      July 13, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      stevan: Stop it, my sides are aching! I should have known you were from Canada...the funniest comedians are from Canada.

      July 13, 2010 at 23:47 | Report abuse |
    • TLD

      maybe AlQaeda is training mosqitos as well as monkeys !

      July 14, 2010 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  15. Lou

    Is this the latest scare by the WHP? Remember swine flu? They don't.

    July 13, 2010 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Curmudgeon

    Unfortunately, DDT, the most effective mosquito control ever produced, has been banned,not without reason. However, perhaps we need to re-evaluate its use and apply it on a very selective basis.

    July 13, 2010 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kraznodar

      I used to ride my bike through the fog from the DDT truck. It was so fun. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the nerve pain, depression and anxiety I suffer from now.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
  17. Yalius

    I had a nice case of dengue back in 1994. Worst part was the constant vomiting, even worse than the joint pain. I couldn't hold down solid food at all. 17 days straight without being able to eat, and I dropped from 165 to 120 pounds. And the thought that it could become hemorrhagic if another another variety infects me? This disease bites.

    July 13, 2010 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chupacabra

      I'm pretty convinced what I had in high school was this. I thought I was going to die. After I finally got the anit-everything pills, I slept for ten days. After three days of excruciating pain. All the same symptoms. I lived in Texas at the time.

      July 13, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse |
  18. starr

    My mother just got back from Sri Lanka and it turns out she has dengue. She spent about 4 days in the hospital. Thank goodness we had the sense not to give her any Advil before we knew it was actually dengue. I hope some preventative measures will be taken in Florida. It's pretty scary in that there's no "cure", and you just have to sit and wait for the platelet counts and liver function tests.

    July 13, 2010 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. BentherB4

    DDT? what? engage the braincells there will ya?

    A friend contracted Dengue in St Vincent – was in the hospital for a week but now OK. They key is prevention and the Keys do spray for the skeeters there. But...people need to help by making sure no water holding containers get filled with rainwater. Last week we had a lot of rain...it is the rainy season here.

    The climate is changing – time to stop hiding our heads in the sands fellow Americans. Look for yourselves...don't just rely on the media...

    July 13, 2010 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mark

    "In the last days...wars, famines, pestilences in divers places" paraphrased Bible verse.

    July 13, 2010 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. kc

    the thing about florida is all the swams. They attract mosquitoes and true is that this mosquitoes like to live in the tropical areas just like the type that carries the yellow fever. Stay away from those places if you can

    July 13, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Lexicon

    you tell jokes like will smith raps...

    July 13, 2010 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Johnboyyy

    Hey kc – what is a swam and why does it attract mosquitoes?

    July 13, 2010 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SillyMe

      According to the online dictionary I just used, "swam" is defined as "...past tense of swim..."...I wonder what dictionary kc is using...and I wonder if I can use it for Scrabble later!

      July 13, 2010 at 23:13 | Report abuse |
    • endeavor43

      Yeah, I got the same result from "Wictionary," but then realized that kc meant "swamps" - LOL!

      July 15, 2010 at 04:24 | Report abuse |
  24. stevan

    aha ha aha ha (that was me trying to phonetically type will smith's stupid laugh he used in all his songs)

    July 13, 2010 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. not that bad

    I had dengue in 2007 when I was living in Kiribati. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt like I'd had the crap kicked out of me. Every bone in my body hurt and I was freezing cold (it was at least 85 F). When I called a dr. I was told to drink plenty of fluids, rest, and take Tylenol if I had any. If I started noticing blood pockets under my skin to call again because I was probably hemorrhaging internally. I felt like crap for about a week and was pretty weak, but then it passed. The only people I knew who died were elderly, babies, and people who refused to stay hydrated. Put on your bug spray or stay inside at dusk the mosquitoes are at their worst. People in CA have to deal with earthquakes, the Midwest has tornadoes, the price you pay for living close to water is mosquitoes.

    July 13, 2010 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Mark

    The Puerto Rico Health Secretary already declared a dengue fever epidemic in that part of the United States this past February.

    July 13, 2010 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. focker1

    DENGUE NABBIT!!!!!!

    July 13, 2010 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Nursehope

    Listen up newbies: Dengue is a VIRAL fever...no vaccination exists for prevention. The vactor (carrier) is Aedes aegypti, a mosquito. Signs and symptoms include: (7 days post bite) sudden high fever and intense headache, rash, severe joint and muscle pain (break bone fever), apparent recovery then perhaps return of signs and symptoms leading to recovery. Approximately 1 wk in duration. Painful, but mild and rarely life threatening BUT may progress to lungs: hemmorrhage,shock,death.. May be disruption of clotting factors leading to uncontrolled bleeding and shock. Severe vomitting, dermal capillary hemorrhage=rash, possible death within hours (mostly in SE Asia)...possibly due to hypersensitivity reaction when memory cells encounter the virus a 2nd time.

    July 13, 2010 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Small correction, VECTOR, not vactor. Sorry, a bit anal retentive on professional discourse...
      Another thing dengue fever is called is "Break bone fever", due to the intense pain caused by the illness.
      As far as considering it being downplayed in your writing, remember that it IS considered as a potential biological weapon for a reason. While it usually doesn't cause many deaths, the disability caused by the illness can disable an economy in a region where it becomes epidemic.
      Personally, I'll take another infection with west nile.
      And I'm being trite with that, millions have already been infected with west nile virus and never realized that the "summer flu" they had was WNV (I'm sero-positive for exposure).

      July 13, 2010 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
    • Mark in the Heartland

      Listen up – there are MANY vaccines for viruses. The vast majority of the vaccinations we get are for viruses. Bacteria, on the other hand, are almost impossible to vaccinate against.

      July 14, 2010 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
  29. evoc

    Lexicon: Agreed!

    July 13, 2010 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Wzrd1

    This disgusts me. Dengue was defeated, along with yellow fever.
    What's next? Mass epidemics of bubonic plague?
    What ever happened to our infrastructure for mosquito abatement?
    OK, bubonic plague isn't mosquito related, but erosion of vector control IS.
    What is sad is that Vietnam is making progress in mosquito abatement while WE are falling into mosquito heaven.

    July 13, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. opinionguru

    Had Dengue fever in Palau in 1992 ...felt like the Flu on steroids! Never want that again!

    July 14, 2010 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Johnboyyy

    Is America sliding down the tubes? Our infrastructure and economy seem to be declining.
    I am concerned that our food and water delivery systems will fail. Not to mention waste water removal.

    July 14, 2010 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. AmoyMom

    Dengue is awful. I have never felt so sick in my life as I did when I contracted dengue fever (in Thailand). The muscle pain was so severe that I felt like my bones were breaking (hence the old name for dengue–bone break fever), and it took me weeks to fully recover my strength. I pray that I never contract another strain and encounter dengue's evil twin–dengue hemorrhagic fever. I had a friend get seriously ill (to the point of near death) after contracting a second strain of dengue after a previous infection months earlier.

    July 14, 2010 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. mike bender

    Pay special not to the last line in the article,
    "There have been a few confirmed cases along the Texas-Mexico border in recent years."

    A disturbing coincidence was an article I read a few days ago detailing how the Taliban are assisting the drug smugglers along the Texmex border. You suppose they brought some of that crap with them?

    One of the biggest fears regarding swine flu was that it might cripple the nations economy by knocking out too many related industries at one time. Example, truckers who deliver our food frequent a great many truck stops along the way. If too many truckers got sick at the same time, it could disrupt the food supply system. Or gasoline shipments. Or the people who monitor the electric grid. That is just a few examples.

    July 14, 2010 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kraznodar

      Hey, thanks for pointing that out to the terrorists there skippy.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:48 | Report abuse |
  35. Jim

    Based on the stats they just provided, the mortality rate is 0.025%. Unless you are elderly or a baby, you may considering worrying about the 10 million other things that are going to kill you. I suggest worrying about that little oil spill and its impacts for the next 100+ years

    July 14, 2010 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. dduke

    I've had both dengue and malaria numerous times and I can tell you there is nothing funny about either one. They are both killers. The folks on this thread making jokes should be forgiven, I guess, for their ignorance.

    July 14, 2010 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. DaBosun

    She's got dengue fever. Hey! I know that song. No, wait. That was jungle fever.

    July 14, 2010 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Crater

    Don't quit your day job. If you have one.

    July 14, 2010 at 03:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. silvershado

    Time to bring back DDT!

    July 14, 2010 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mark

    But wait...bird shell thickness is more important than human life, right Rachael? If she's listening or reading this thread...

    July 14, 2010 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. j03l

    This is just the U.S. government's plot to finally put down the Conch Republic. Long live the C.R.

    July 14, 2010 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. PORCUPINE

    How many deseases have the gods (scientists) told us the have eradicated, but the keep returning. Ive lost count.

    July 14, 2010 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. citizen

    tex mex border, all southern places is is appearing???? wake up people, 12 million illegals here who come from unsanitary conditions... and that prez wants them here legally?

    wake up people, it will be a slow death in 5 yrs

    July 14, 2010 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. At work

    nursehope, are you saying that a vaccine can't be made because dengue is VIRAL??? Isn't the flu viral, something we get vaccinated for each and every year? That's how you made it sound anyway...

    July 14, 2010 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. jerry

    Dengue fever is serious but preventable. Mesquito control, netting, replellants all can minimize the chances of getting dengue. We should be more concerned about TB. TB has developed a resistance to most drugs in 3rd world countries. The USA is screening immigrants very thoroughly to prevent its introduction into the US. The real issue is that illegals circumvent the health dept screeing for legal immigrants. A school in Orlando, Fl had a TB scare when one of the illegals was found to have TB and needed treatment. How many other students were exposed to the anti-biotic strain of TB by this illegal student and his family?

    July 14, 2010 at 09:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Mark in the Heartland

    Dengue fever appears to have a mortality rate of 0.025%. That is better than the flu. So while it makes folk really sick, I am not going to panic about this.

    Nursehope – yes vaccines do exist for viruses – flu, measels, mumps, rubella, chickenpox – all viruses, all with vaccines.

    July 14, 2010 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Medic 83

    I have been in a fellowship for the past few years working specifically on the Dengue virus and its 4 serotypes. There has not been a lack of scientific progress on the virus as well as potential vaccines or treatments, but the virus itself is a huge hurdle. Anytime someone gets infected with one serotype of the virus it ellicits an antibody response. If a person is then subsequently infected with another serotype, the body's antibody response from the first infection is not only useless against the second, but aids in its proliferation in a phenomenon known as antibody dependent enhancement (ADE). With the development of a vaccine, it would be impossible to give all 4 serotypes of the virus since there are different substrains of each serotype. So instead of a fever and muscle aches, the first infection of a vaccinated person would cause the severe form of dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, both are potentially fatal. There are research teams throughout the country and the world that have been scrambling for years upon years to understand the virus as well as find a cure or vaccine. This is not a political issue, but a scientific one.

    July 14, 2010 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. skiandwake

    I hate mosquitoes! I've been taking bite-amins this past month and hardly had a single bite (www.bite-amins.com).

    July 15, 2010 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. KWLover

    I live in Key West. My mother, who just turned 50 contracted dengue in May. In May she was in the ICU for a week and suffered a secondary infection that also affected her brain. She says she now has trouble coming up with words–she is the family Scrabble Pro...so I am worried of long lasting damage that may have been done. The doctors did not confirm the dengue infection until last week, which still baffles me.!
    For the record: I do not blame immigrants, I blame tourists from cruise ships!

    July 15, 2010 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mosquito_Wrangler

      I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. I research dengue and the Ae. aegypti mosquito that carries the virus. I've been able to meet with many of the patients who've contracted dengue this year since April throughout Old Town, and I know mosquito control as well as the Monroe County Dept. of Health are doing every they can to contain the situation. Unfortunately, despite abatement efforts those mosquitoes can reproduce fairly quickly and very little water is necessary (and during the rainy season, it's easy to come by). It's imperative that every effort be made by home owners/renters to assess their property for water holding containers, dump any standing water to prevent breeding, and if they come down with a fever to see their primary care physician for confirmed blood test diagnosis.

      My best to your mother for a continued recovery.

      July 26, 2010 at 09:02 | Report abuse |
  50. Jon Palmer

    There is a solution to this problem, its called DDT. But society has deemed birds more important than people, so this is what we get. It seems like there should be a way to reconfigure the molecule to still be effective, and not effect egg shells. If we can spend billions on global warming, couldn't we spend a little on this?

    July 17, 2010 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mosquito_Wrangler

      I'm afraid you are incorrect. Yes, the impact of DDT had caused a stir among environmental groups back in the 1960s with the release of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. However, the discontinued use of DDT was NOT because of those effects on non-target organisms, but rather because the organochloride was ineffective as an insecticide; the mosquitoes were becoming resistant to it. Insecticide resistance is one of the main hazards that come with attempts at mosquito control. It is necessary for those abatement operations to cycle different chemicals in order to avoid such events. Many countries still use DDT, and many countries in Africa are looking to use it again, sparingly, as indoor residual spray to combat the vector, but resistance is still a factor in its prolonged use.

      July 26, 2010 at 09:10 | Report abuse |

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