Martin County plans to canvas Rio, Jensen Beach to prevent another dengue fever outbreak

It's known as the "breakbone" disease because it feels like your bones are broken. Last year Martin County had a total of 24 cases of dengue fever.

 

Every night Michael and Mary Glass take an evening walk in their neighborhood. It was difficult to do last summer. 

 

"We had gotten real sick and we just thought it was a bad fever or something that was going around, a bad sinus infection," says Michael Glass. 

 

It turned out to be dengue fever.

 

"You feel like you got beat up and you have a high fever and like a lot of redness in the feet and hands," says Mary Glass.

 

Dengue fever is a painful disease carried by mosquitoes. 

 

"We hadn't heard anything before 2013," says Michael Glass.

 

"This is a very relatively new thing in a sense," says Renay Rouse, public information officer for the Martin County Health Department, "This is not very common although it's becoming more common."

 

There were 24 confirmed cases in Martin County in 2013 in the Rio and Jensen Beach area. This year the health department is spreading the word about prevention. 

 

"I think it's a good idea," says Mary Glass. 

 

They're printing stickers to hand out and plan to go door-to-door in the Rio area this Saturday. Health department officials along with students from Indian River State College will give residents a flyer with prevention tips.

 

"They can wear mosquito repellant," says Rouse, "They can also cover up with clothing. They should also be doing things to prevent mosquitoes from breeding around their home."

 

Since they got sick the Glass family has taken steps to keep mosquitoes away.

 

"The main thing is we don't have any standing water around and we don't let any water stand around," says Michael Glass. 

 

The health department plans to hold two public meetings in Rio on May 29 and Jensen Beach on May 7. Both will take place during neighborhood advisory council meetings. 


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