CDC issues health advisory for dengue in the US

Countries in the Americas reported a record-breaking number of dengue cases already in 2024, surpassing the highest number of cases ever recorded in a single year.
Posted at 3:14 PM, Jun 26, 2024

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a health advisory for dengue virus infections in the U.S.

The CDC said so far in 2024, countries in the Americas reported a record number of dengue cases, which has surpassed the highest number ever recorded in a single year.

From Jan. 1 to June 24, there have been 9.7 million reported cases of dengue in the Americas, which is more than double the number of cases for all of 2023 — which was 4.6 million cases.

In the U.S., Puerto Rico has declared a public health emergency, with 1,438 cases of dengue. U.S. travelers there have also recorded higher numbers of dengue than anticipated, with 745 cases in the first six months of the year.

Dengue is a virus transmitted to people through mosquito bites, the CDC says.

Symptoms of dengue include fever, aches, nausea, vomiting, rash and pains, including eye pain. More severe cases of dengue may include symptoms of severe bleeding, shock or respiratory distress, according to the CDC.

The mortality rate for dengue can be reduced from about 13% to less than 1% with proper management of symptoms with help from a medical professional.

Preventing dengue

To reduce the risk of contracting the virus, the CDC says people can take a number of precautions.

The CDC recommends people make efforts to avoid mosquito bites by using Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellents and wearing loose-fitting, long-sleeved pants and shirts.

They should also use air conditioning and window screens when possible.

The CDC asks that people dump containers that hold water to reduce mosquito egg-laying sites in their communities.

The agency is also asking health care providers to stay on alert for symptoms of dengue. They can do so by looking for potential signs of the virus, educating patients, and being prepared with proper dengue tests.

A dengue vaccine called Dengvaxia is recommended for children between the ages of 9 and 16 who have previously been infected by dengue or live in areas with high risk, such as Puerto Rico.

Last month, the World Health Organization also prequalified a new dengue vaccine called TAK-003, which is recommended for children 6 to 16 years old who are in environments where dengue spread is high.

There are currently no antiviral medications that treat dengue.

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