Dengue fever: Four more cases reported on Treasure Coast

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed four additional cases of dengue fever on the Treasure Coast. There were seven previous cases confirmed in the Rio and Jensen Beach areas.  The health department says seven of the cases have affected Martin County residents and four have affected St. Lucie County residents.

Mosquito experts say the disease comes from people who have been infected with dengue fever in the Caribbean and Central America. If a mosquito here bites an infected person, the bug can then spread it to another person.

The disease cannot be spread person-to-person, just by a mosquito bite.

The symptoms include a high fever, headache, joint and bone pain and a rash.

The mosquitoes that transmit the disease are found in large numbers in Martin and St. Lucie Counties. 

Mosquito Control in Martin County is continuing to inspect and treat properties in the affected areas.

The Florida Department of Health offers the following advice:

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying

    Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
    Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
    Empty and clean birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
    Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
    Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

COVER skin with clothing or repellent

    CLOTHING - Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves.  This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
    REPELLENT - Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
    Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
    Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house

    Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

Tips on Repellent Use

Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent.  Some repellents are not suitable for children.

Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are generally recommended.  Other US Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellents contain Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.  These products are generally available at local pharmacies.  Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.

Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.

In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate.  According to the CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of three years.  DEET is not recommended on children younger than two months old.

Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children.  Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child's skin and clothing. 

If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing.  Again, always follow the manufacturer's directions.



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