A dangerous mosquito-borne virus appears to have landed in Arizona. Earlier this week, health officials reported that a Maricopa County resident had recently contracted dengue, but routine monitoring found signs of the dengue virus in nearby mosquitoes. These findings show that the infection may have spread in the area for the first time, although the investigation is still ongoing.
Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) officials announced a human case of dengue on Monday, although no other details about the patient were released. In addition, the Maricopa County Department of Environmental Services reported detecting the virus last month in samples taken by mosquito traps in the county’s neighborhoods. While cases of dengue have been reported in Arizona in the past, they have recently been found in people who may have been infected while traveling to countries where the disease does not exist. But based on the surveillance data, officials say, this may be the first domestically transmitted case of dengue in the county and the state as a whole.
While previous dengue cases in Maricopa County have been linked to travel to countries where dengue is common, it’s important to understand whether others may have been exposed or if this was an isolated incident, said medical epidemiologist Nick Staub. press release Released by MCDPH. This is in addition to our routine screening of anyone with suspected dengue or mosquito-borne diseases.
Dengue is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Most infected people do not feel any pain, but about one in four will develop flu-like symptoms Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About one in 20 people develop severe dengue, which can lead to life-threatening complications such as internal bleeding and shock. There are four main types of the virus, and surviving one type of infection does not provide immunity to others. In fact, contracting another type of virus increases the risk of developing severe dengue.
Although dengue is most common in hot and humid areas, it has spread dramatically in recent decades. He believed According to the World Health Organization, it spreads in more than 100 countries. Many experts worry that climate change will allow dengue and similar viruses to become an environmental problem in previously unaffected parts of the world, such as much of Europe and the Americas. In particular, the two most well-known dengue viruses, Egyptian temples And Aedes albopictus Mosquitoes, now they can be Found throughout Most are in the southern and eastern US during peak seasons, although it is not yet clear whether these populations are able to sustain widespread local transmission of dengue and other viruses.
For the time being, Maricopa officials plan to go door-to-door in each neighborhood, armed with mosquito repellent, to ensure that any residents have contracted dengue in the past several months.