The recent multiple cases of Dengue Fever diagnosed in Central and Southern Florida, are a cause for great concern.
This mosquito borne disease was largely eradicated in the United States decades ago, but recently, patients with Dengue symptoms are starting to appear with greater frequency in North America.
In past years the infrequent case of Dengue diagnosed in the United States was carried across the border by travelers who had visited countries where Dengue is a common deadly disease.
According to the Centers For Disease Control from 1946 to 1980 there were no acquired (native) cases of Dengue Fever in the United States.
From 1980 until 2008 there were sporadic cases reported in areas near the Texas/Mexico border, then in 2009 and 2010 the increase of confirmed cases in the United States, shot up to 28 in the state of Florida.
WebMD.com reports that the initial symptoms of Dengue Fever include —
* A rapid onset of a high fever.
* Severe headache.
* A Rash.
* Pain behind the eyes and in the joints.
* Bleeding from the gums, nose, or vagina.
An acquired case of Dengue Fever can possibly lead to the more severe Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, which according to The Mayo Clinic can cause among other things —
* Bleeding from the nose and mouth.
* Bleeding under the skin that looks like bruising.
This disease was kept largely in check in the United States because of the common use of the synthetic pesticide DDT. DDT usage was banned in the U.S. in 1972 for reasons having to do with environmental damage, and toxicity to humans.
The lack of an equally effective way to deal with rampant mosquito populations is one reason why diseases like Dengue are on an upswing.
We can now add Dengue Fever to the list of deadly Mosquito Borne Diseases that are in North America.