The third locally transmitted case of dengue fever this year has been confirmed in Miami-Dade County, the Florida Department of Health announced Friday.
The first case of the mosquito-borne ailment was confirmed in March. The second came earlier this month.
The three cases don’t seem to be related, the health department said in a statement. The department issued a mosquito-borne illness alert Friday after a resident of the county was diagnosed with the virus, which is spread through bites from infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The Aedes also spread chikungunya and Zika virus.
Five cases of dengue fever among international travelers have been reported so far this year in Florida. Thirty-one travel-associated cases of Zika fever have been reported this year, but zero local cases, according to health department data.
Most people who are infected with dengue fever experience mild or no symptoms. But those that develop symptoms recover after about a week. Symptoms include muscle, joint or bone pain; nausea and vomiting; or unusual bleeding and bruising. Severe cases can result in shock, internal bleeding and death, according to the health department.
There is no treatment or vaccine for the virus.
▪ “Drain and cover,” the health department says. It’s going to keep raining — it’s South Florida and summer — so drain water from garbage cans and lids, gutters and planters and flower pots around the yard. This will give mosquitoes fewer places to breed.
▪ Get rid of old tires, drums, bottles and other broken appliances you might have out in the yard.
▪ Don’t overlook boats on trailers. They gather water. Also splash the water off pool covers so there are fewer tempting puddles of water.
▪ Cover up. Wear long sleeves, shoes and socks and long pants when outdoors. We know it’s hot.
▪ Spray it on. Use repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (except on children 3 and younger; check precautions first), para-menthane-diol, and IR3535.
For more information, visit the health department website.