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Health Officials Confirm Case of Travel-Associated Dengue, Chikungunya

By DOH-Escambia

July 31, 2014

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (DOH-Escambia) has confirmed that a county resident contracted both chikungunya (\chik-en-gun-ye) fever and dengue fever. The resident was most likely exposed to both viruses while recently traveling in the Caribbean islands.

These diseases are spread by bites from infected mosquitoes. If a person is infected and bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito may later spread the infection by biting another person. “Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to preventing infection with chikungunya fever, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and other mosquito-borne diseases,” said DOH-Escambia Director, Dr. John Lanza. “We encourage everyone to take precautionary measures to help reduce the chance of being bitten. Remember to drain and cover.”

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 are not 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.

  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeves.
  • Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
  • Always use repellents as directed by the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

  • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
People at increased risk for severe disease include newborns exposed during delivery, older adults (≥65 years), and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.