MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – The first case of dengue fever, a mosquito-born disease, has been detected in Miami-Dade.
Friday evening, the Florida Health Department confirmed an 18-year-old living in the county contracted the fever. He has already made a recovery and will be OK.
The illness is transmitted by mosquitoes, which are obviously common in South Florida, especially this time of year. If unrecognized and left untreated, the disease can be deadly.
Health officials are informing citizens on ways to take precautions to avoid catching the fever. "As long as the mosquito is present, we are at risk of having more cases of dengue," Dr. Alvaro Mejia-Echeverry of the Health Department said.
Dengue fever is rarely fatal but if caught, can be agonizing. Andrew Badal contracted the fever in South Florida two years ago. "It came on like a normal fever would," Badal said. "But it was relentless."
These are just some of the symptoms of dengue fever:
-Muscle and joint pain
-Loss of appetite
If you notice any of these symptoms, you are urged to seek medical attention right away.
"The message for the community is the real control of dengue fever is in your hands," Mejia-Echeverry said.
Homeowners are urged to drain water from garbage cans, gutters, buckets, pool covers and anything that collects water. Also, make sure your pool is properly chlorinated and empty, and clean bird baths at least twice a week.
People are encouraged to wear jeans and long sleeve shirts, as well as using bug spray that contains 30 percent of the ingredient Deet. Children over the ages of 2 months old will be safe from the bug spray.
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