California reports its first local dengue case


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The public health department in Pasadena, California, reported a locally acquired dengue case, the state’s first, though the virus hasn’t yet been identified in local mosquito populations.

In a statement late last week, officials said the Pasadena resident hadn’t traveled outside of the United States. The health department said the risk remains very low.

The Pasadena Public Health Department is conducting surveillance and has visited a neighborhood in Pasadena to offer residents information about reducing mosquito-breeding sites around their homes and avoiding mosquito bites. The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District has deployed traps to better gauge the mosquito population, with more testing planned from additional traps in the weeks ahead.

Disease not endemic in California

Officials said that although Aedes mosquito populations are typically found in Pasadena, dengue virus is not endemic in California.

Parveen Kaur, MD, interim health officer, said Pasadena officials are also working with local health providers to raise awareness about dengue symptoms, which can include fever, nausea, vomiting, rash, and body aches.

Local dengue infections on the US mainland are very rare. People who contract the virus in locations where the virus is endemic can introduce the virus to local mosquito populations. Florida is the only state that regularly reports sporadic local cases. So far this year, Florida has reported 68 cases, most of them in Miami-Dade County.

Earlier this year, a few states reported local malaria cases, another mosquito-borne disease that is also very rare in the continental United States. They are Florida, Texas, Maryland, and Arkansas.

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