Alabama Reports First Case of Rare Mosquito Virus Also Found in Florida!

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN)—Alabama has reported its first case of the rare mosquito-spread virus Dengue. Cases in the U.S. surged in 2024, rivaling the total number seen in 2023. According to the CDC, patients in Alabama and Georgia contracted the virus while traveling abroad. However, local transmission has been confirmed in Miami, raising concerns for domestic travelers.

Dengue symptoms include nausea, vomiting, rashes, and pain behind the eyes, muscles, joints, and bones. These symptoms typically manifest about two weeks after a mosquito bite and can last from two to seven days. Once believed eradicated in the U.S. after 1934, dengue re-emerged in Florida in 2009, with increasing annual cases since then.

Alabama Reports First Case of Rare Mosquito Virus Also Found in Florida

In May 2024, one patient in Miami-Dade County tested positive for locally acquired dengue. In response, the Florida Health Department issued a Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Advisory across multiple counties and a specific alert for Miami-Dade.

While home treatment with acetaminophen is recommended, ibuprofen and aspirin should be avoided due to increased bleeding risks. Severe cases of dengue require hospitalization. Dengue is related to the West Nile and Chikungunya viruses, all spread by mosquito bites.

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Travelers to tropical or subtropical regions and residents in mosquito-prone areas should take preventive measures, as suggested in a Florida Health Department YouTube video. Factors like routine use of air conditioning and spending more time indoors may help keep U.S. case numbers lower than in other dengue-affected countries.

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