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Dengue virus spreads across Florida counties, health officials say

Dengue (West Nile Virus) spreads through bite of infected mosquitoes

Florida health officials have placed Broward County under a mosquito-borne illness alert this month as dengue virus cases spread.

Broward County – home to Fort Lauderdale – joins Miami-Dade County as the illness continues to spread.

The Florida Department of Health reported two cases of locally acquired dengue in Broward County in its July 30-Aug. 5 arbovirus surveillance report.

There have been 10 cases of locally acquired dengue reported in the Sunshine State this year, with most in Miami-Dade County. The majority of the 10 were reported in July.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale (Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group via Getty Images/File)

“Ten cases have been serotyped by PCR,” the department wrote.

“In 2022, there were two locally acquired dengue cases,” the department in Broward County said.

There were nearly 200 cases this year reported in individuals in Florida with a history of travel to a dengue-endemic area in the two weeks before onset.

A mosquito collected on August 25, 2021, in Louisville, Kentucky

Florida health officials have placed Broward County under a mosquito-borne illness alert this month as dengue virus cases spread. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images/File)

The department noted that 10 of those cases were reported in non-Florida residents and that one case met the criteria for severe dengue.

Dengue is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and is not normally present in Florida.

However, infected travelers can bring the virus back to Florida mosquitoes.

Flavivirus

Dengue is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and is not normally present in Florida. (James Cavallini/BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images/File)

Those at greater risk for dengue include people with previous dengue infection, pregnant women, infants, the elderly and people with comorbidities.

Severe illness can also occur in those without any of these risk factors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been 225 dengue cases reported across U.S. states this year.