Dengue Outbreak Up To 18 Cases In 2 Florida Cities

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Associated Press Release

STUART, Fla. (AP) -- Public health workers are collecting blood samples from 300 people on Florida's Treasure Coast, where 18 cases of a mosquito-borne illness have been confirmed.

Starting Friday, blood samples will be collected from Rio and Jensen Beach neighborhoods where the outbreak appears to be concentrated. Randomly selected participants will be asked if they've recently suffered symptoms of dengue fever. They'll also be asked about their recent travel and about activities that might expose them to mosquitoes.

Health officials say all the confirmed cases were exposed to dengue in those neighborhoods. None of the patients had recently traveled internationally.

Dengue is sometimes called "break bone fever" because of the severe joint pain it causes in extreme cases. Other symptoms include high fever, severe headache and a rash. It's uncommon in the U.S.


Associated Press Release

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A blood collection agency is suspending its blood donation program in Martin and St. Lucie counties due to the risk of a dengue fever outbreak.

In a news release on Wednesday, OneBlood officials said they won't collect blood in the region until further notice. The company provides blood to 200 hospitals in Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

The Palm Beach Post (http://bit.ly/17ShfaC ) reports the company's decision came after 15 cases of dengue fever have been diagnosed in the region.

Dengue fever is spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, headache and severe muscle and joint soreness. Some people get a measles-like rash. Health officials say it can be a risk to blood supplies because the viral disease is rare and tests aren't done at the time of blood collection.

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Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, http://www.pbpost.com


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