Mosquito-borne disease advisory issued in Miami-Dade after first local case of dengue fever this year

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Florida. – The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory after the first local case of dengue infection was confirmed this year.

According to the health department, dengue “is a virus transmitted through mosquito bites by Aedes mosquitoes which also spread chikungunya and Zika virus. Most people infected with dengue have mild or no symptoms. Those who develop symptoms usually recover after about a week.

Health officials are urging residents to take precautions to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and to protect their skin.

Common symptoms of dengue include fever and “one or more of the following symptoms: headache; eye pain (usually behind the eyes); muscle, joint or bone pain; eruption; nausea and vomiting; or unusual bleeding (bleeding from the nose or gums, small red spots under the skin or unusual bruising).

Severe cases can lead to shock, internal bleeding, and even death.

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Here are some tips from DOH-Miami-Dade:

DRAIN standing water –

· Drain water from garbage cans, gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other container where rain or sprinkler water has collected.

· To throw old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that are not in use.

· empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls at least once or twice a week.

· Protect boats and vehicles from the rain with covers that do not accumulate water.

· Maintain swimming pools in good condition and suitably chlorinated. Empty plastic pools when not in use.

COVER the skin –

· Clothes – Wear shoes, socks and long pants and long sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who work in areas where mosquitoes are present.

· Repulsive – Apply insect repellent to bare skin and clothing, but not under clothing.

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Always read label instructions carefully for approved use before applying any repellent – Some repellents are not suitable for children.

· Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol and IR3535 are effective.

· Use a mosquito net to protect children under 2 months.

COVER doors and windows –

  • Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches and patios to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

Additional tips on using repellents

  • To protect children, read the instructions on the label to make sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquito repellents containing lemon eucalyptus oil should not be used on children under three years of age. DEET is not recommended for children under two months of age.

  • Avoid applying repellents to children’s hands. Adults should first apply the repellent to their own hands, then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothes.

  • If additional protection is needed, apply a permethrin-based repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Click here for more information on which repellent is right for you.

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