Florida 07/27/10 the dailyherald.com: Miami – An epidemic of dengue fever in the Caribbean and Latin America has increased the risk of an outbreak of the sometimes deadly mosquito-borne virus in South Florida, a bioclimatologist and dengue expert said last month. Florida’s proximity to affected countries, the flow of people from there and similar tropical climate factors raised the probability of the disease afflicting the southern state after an absence of decades, Dr. Douglas Fuller told Reuters. “I think the risk is substantial … In terms of the basic ingredients, you’ve got everything that you would need for an epidemic,” he said in a phone interview. “I think we’re on the doorstep,” added Fuller, who is chair of the Geography and Regional Studies department of the University of Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences. Dengue, also known as “breakbone fever,” causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches and muscle and joint pains. It can also take on a hemorrhagic form, causing sudden death through internal bleeding and bleeding from body orifices. Companies are working on a vaccine, but there is no effective drug to treat it. Some 17,000 cases of dengue have been reported this year across the Caribbean through early June, according to the Pan American Health Organization, with deaths being reported in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago. In Central America, local health authorities have reported more than 50,000 dengue cases so far this year, and more than 40 deaths, prompting authorities in Honduras and other countries to launch mosquito fumigation campaigns. “You’ve got this epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean that just keeps getting worse, and that’s where we have the biggest exchange (of people) coming to South Florida … not just tourists, but business people, people visiting their families, immigrants,” Fuller said. Earlier this month, government researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 5 percent of the population of Key West, Florida–more than 1,000 people–had been infected at some point with the dengue virus, based on a random blood test survey. And they expressed concern about the virus gaining a foothold in Key West, from where it could travel to cities like Miami. That would represent the re-emergence of dengue fever in Florida and elsewhere in the United States after a 75-year absence.
Author of "UNSEEN HAZARDS That Threaten Hunters, Campers, and Hikers: What you should know about pathogens commonly found in wildlife."
This is where wildlife and healthcare professionals, hunters, campers, hikers, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts will find interesting information about natural unseen hazards that place them at risk. As my book focused exclusively on Rabies, Tetanus (Lockjaw), Tularemia (Rabbit Fever), Brucellosis (Undulant Fever), Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Borrelia (Lyme Disease), posts regarding these six diseases will be limited to more recent developments and items of interest that were not included or were not available when the book was published in June of 2009. Topics will also include Chronic Wasting Disease, West Nile Virus, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, and other diseases of particular interest to those who work and play in the great American outdoors.
Don’t Be Afraid – Be Aware!
The Natural Unseen Hazards blog is available to all free of charge and is maintained as a public service.
If you have questions related to pathogens commonly found in wildlife, e.g. the disease caused by a specific pathogen, hosts, vectors, symptoms, treatment, territorial range, etc., please comment here or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will attempt to provide answers.
"Chance favors the prepared mind."
Unless otherwise noted, images have been provided by the CDC Public Health Image Library, Wikimedia Commons, the National Park Service or other government agencies, Bing.com, and/or Google.com.
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."
"It's better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret."
Jackie Joyner Kersee
Natural Unseen Hazards Blog
- Natural Unseen Hazards Blog Retires
- Spray for MOSQUITOES that carry ZIKA VIRUS kills millions of HONEYBEES ~ MOSQUITOES carrying ZIKA VIRUS confirmed in FLORIDA ~ NEVADA county reports 2nd case of ST.LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS deaths in MS, ND & TX ~ RABID CAT reports from CA & PA.
- National Park employee in MONTANA recovering after BEAR attack ~ Exotic TICKS appear to be establishing themselves in ALASKA ~ EEE infects 1 HUMAN and 7 HORSES in NORTH CAROLINA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS fatality in SOUTH DAKOTA ~ RABID HORSE in FL, CAT in ON-CANADA.
- BEAR mauls two guides hired by cruise line in ALASKA ~ FDA advises testing all blood donations for ZIKA ~ FLORIDA governor confirms ZIKA is spreading ~ ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS case confirmed in NEVADA ~ RABID CAT reports from Canada- ON, NJ, and VA.
- WASHINGTON woman dies after contracting STREP bacteria from a HORSE ~ CDC issues warning for second ZIKA zone in FLORIDA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS claims lives in AZ & WA ~ RABID CAT reports from GA(2) & SC
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