Case of mosquito-borne illness Dengue reported in Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade officials also warn homeless advocates about West Nile virus

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter, Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Health officials confirmed a case of Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness, in Miami-Dade County on Monday.

Officials did not identify the person who was infected or where in the county the infection took place, but issued a general warning for residents.

Officials urged residents to drain any standing water on properties, clear debris and cover skin with insect repellent and clothing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding. Dengue fever can be fatal if left untreated, the CDC said.

Meanwhile, concerns over one mosquito that tested positive for West Nile virus earlier this month have prompted calls by the Miami-Dade Health Department to protect people who live on the street from potentially infectious mosquito bites.

There has been no widespread public notification about the infected mosquito, for reasons that state and/or local health officials have not yet made clear. 

Homeless advocates and caseworkers were notified Nov. 6 about the concerns.

Questions about the infected mosquito, including its location and date of the discovery, have not been answered by state or local health officials at this writing.

As it did during a Zika outbreak in 2016, Miami-Dade County's Homeless Trust emailed organizations that work with the county’s homeless and shelter populations to notify them of "concerns about West Nile virus in the community," with the offer to deliver supplies of mosquito repellent to distribute. 

The CDC lists 19 cases of West Nile virus in Florida, though none in humans. No cases are listed south of Palm Beach County. 

According to the CDC, West Nile virus is most frequently transmitted by mosquitoes. Most infections produce no symptoms or minor fevers and headaches, but less than 1 percent of infections lead to life-threatening illnesses that include inflammation of the spinal cord (meningitis) or brain (encephalitis).    
 

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