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'Dengue Virus Outbreak Sparks Alarm in Holiday Hotspot as Cases Surge'

Deadly virus causes alarm in the US with a dramatic rise in dengue cases, particularly in Florida.

In the United States, there is growing concern over a deadly virus that has been spreading rapidly. The Florida Department of Health has issued a health alert in Broward County, which is home to Fort Lauderdale, and Miami-Dade County due to an alarming increase in cases of dengue. This virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

Dengue is typically found in tropical and sub-tropical climates, particularly in urban and semi-urban areas. Between July 30 and August 5, two cases of dengue were reported in Broward County. This year, Florida has seen a total of 10 cases of dengue, with the majority occurring in Miami-Dade County in July. The Department of Health in Florida has revealed that these cases have been serotyped by PCR, a type of testing that helps identify the specific strain of the virus. In contrast, in 2022, there were only two locally acquired cases of dengue.

The health alert has been issued after a total of nearly 200 cases of dengue have been documented in Florida this year. Health officials have noted that many of these cases involve individuals who have a history of travel to tropical climates. It is important to note that 10 of these cases were reported in non-Florida residents, and one case was classified as severe dengue. While mosquitoes are commonly associated with spreading malaria, they are also responsible for transmitting dengue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dengue viruses are primarily spread through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. Approximately 4 billion people, nearly half of the world's population, live in areas with a risk of dengue. The CDC has approved a dengue vaccine for use in children aged 9 to 16 years who have previously been infected with the virus and live in areas where dengue is common.

Most people who contract dengue experience mild or no symptoms and recover within 1-2 weeks. However, symptoms can include high fever and vomiting. In severe cases, dengue can be fatal. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the most common symptoms of dengue are high fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and rash. While most people recover within 1-2 weeks, some may develop severe dengue and require hospital care.

It is concerning to note that approximately half of the world's population is now at risk of dengue, with an estimated 100-400 million infections occurring each year. In the United States alone, there have been 225 reported cases of dengue so far in 2023, according to the CDC.

Overall, the rise in dengue cases in Florida is a significant public health concern. It is crucial for individuals in affected areas to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and seek medical attention if they experience symptoms associated with dengue. Efforts to control mosquito populations and raise awareness about the virus are also essential in preventing further spread.

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