Dengue virus found in Arizona

Dengue virus found in Arizona

The picture shows the mosquito Aedes aegypti, the main carrier of dengue

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the main vector of dengue, were observed on January 8, 2016 at a laboratory of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
photo: Nelson Amida/AFP (Getty Images)

A dangerous mosquito-borne viral disease has apparently landed in Arizona. Earlier this week, health officials reported that a Maricopa County resident had recently contracted dengue fever, while routine surveillance found traces of the dengue virus in at least one nearby mosquito population. These discoveries suggest the infection may be spreading locally in the state for the first time, although the investigation is ongoing.

Officials with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) announced the human case of dengue on Monday, although no other details about the patient were given. They also reported that the Maricopa County Department of Environmental Services had detected the virus last month in samples taken from a mosquito trap in a county neighborhood. Although cases of dengue have already been reported in Arizona, they have been found in people likely to have contracted it when they recently traveled to countries where the disease is endemic. But given the surveillance data, officials say, this could be the first locally transmitted dengue case to be reported in the county and state.

“While previous cases of dengue in Maricopa County have been linked to travel to countries where dengue is common, it’s important to understand whether other people may have been exposed or whether this is an isolated case,” said Nick Staab, medical epidemiologist a Notice published by the MCDPH. “This is in addition to our routine screening of people suspected of having dengue fever or other mosquito-borne diseases.”

Dengue is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Most of those infected will not develop illness, but about one in four will develop flu-like symptoms, according to reports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About one in 20 people will get severe dengue fever, which can lead to life-threatening complications such as internal bleeding and shock. There are four main serotypes of the virus, and surviving infection with one type does not provide immunity to the others. In fact, if you ever contract another type of the virus, it increases your risk of severe dengue fever.

Although dengue is more common in the warmer and wetter areas of the world, it has spread remarkably over the past few decades and is continuing to do so Cree According to the World Health Organization, the virus is endemic in more than 100 countries. Many experts fear that climate change will cause dengue and related viruses to become a local problem in previously unaffected parts of the world, such as much of Europe and the United States. In particular, two of the most well-known carriers of dengue, mosquitoes Temples of the Egyptians j Aedes albopictusNow you can largely find Southern and eastern US during their peak season, although it is not yet clear if these populations can already sustain widespread local transmission of dengue and other viruses.

For now, Maricopa officials plan to go door-to-door in the area, armed with mosquito prevention kits and tests that should be able to determine if residents have been infected with dengue fever in the past few months.

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