KEYS HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY 1ST DENGUE CASE CAME FROM OUTSIDE THE COUNTY

The Aedes aegypti mosquito. WIKIPEDIA/Contributed

County health officials said an individual tested positive for dengue fever in Monroe County on July 25. The Florida Department of Health said it was a travel-related case, meaning the person didn’t contract the virus locally. 

“They got it outside of Monroe and got tested here in Monroe County,” said Alison Kerr, spokeswoman for Monroe DOH.

No reports of dengue fever have been seen in the Florida Keys this year. However, the health department and Florida Keys Mosquito Control District said they continue to provide surveillance and prevention efforts throughout Keys communities.

A dengue outbreak in the Keys was last seen in June 2020, when cases began to sprout up in the Key Largo area. Some 56 people were infected with dengue that year. 

Dengue fever is not contagious. Rather, it’s spread by a bite from an infected aedes aegypti mosquito. Common symptoms include headache, eye pain, muscle joint or bone pain, nausea and unusual bleeding. 

Health and mosquito control officials urge residents to help prevent mosquitoes from multiplying by remembering to drain any standing water on the property. People should also cover their skin by wearing long sleeves and applying mosquito repellent. 

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District said inspectors are available to help rid properties of existing mosquitoes as well as assist you with mosquito prevention assistance during the rainy season ahead. Please call them at 305-292-7190 or go to www.keysmosquito.org to make a service request.

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Jim McCarthy is a Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, mixed martial arts and golf. He loves to hit the links and play some softball with his Make A Play team. He also enjoys time with family (he's expecting a little boy in October).