Is It Possible To Get Dengue Fever in Westchester County New York?

Author: Mosquito Squad of Fairfield, Westchester, and Rockland County

Unfortunately, in September 2013, a man in neighboring Babylon in Suffolk County was hospitalized with Dengue virus. He became the first person in New York to contract it locally, since he had not traveled outside New York prior to his infection. Luckily he has fully recovered.

During 2013 in the US, there were three deaths reported due to Dengue Virus due to outbreaks in Florida, Hawaii and Texas. “Competent DENV (Dengue Virus) vectors are present in most states, and importation of DENV via travelers has resulted in recent dengue outbreaks”…, reported by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In the US, from 2001 through 2007, the CDC reported 796 cases of Dengue.

It is quite easy for someone infected in the US or on a Caribbean or South American vacation, for example, to be the reason a Dengue outbreak occurs in the US. You may have believed that only mosquitoes can infect humans with Dengue. Scientists know that is not true. The ability for either the mosquito or human to be host or transmitter of Dengue makes an outbreak possible anywhere there are mosquitoes and people. Dengue began spreading worldwide much more easily as air travel became more popular in the 1950’s.

When considering how fast Dengue can spread, consider these facts:

  • 75% of most people bitten and infected will have no symptoms
  • Of those who have symptoms it will be 4-7 days (the range is 3-14 days) before the first symptoms appear
  • The likelihood of a Dengue outbreak is increased because humans infected with the virus will pass it on to other mosquitoes, when bitten, before they show any symptoms during a 5-day period when the virus is most prevalent in their body.

With these factors and the time involved, it is possible for any number of people to be bitten and infected, before anyone knows an outbreak is occurring.

About 75% of all Dengue virus infections in humans show no symptoms.

For the other 25%, symptoms include:

  • Mild, moderate or acute fever, often 104 F.
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands or rash

You should talk with your physician if you have two or more of any of these symptoms. Five percent of Dengue cases result in Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Severe Dengue. Hospitalization is often required.

There is no vaccine for Dengue. Until recently, scientists believed Dengue Fever had four serotypes, all of which result in Dengue Fever. In October 2013, Nikos Vasilakis, Ph.D. of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston announced a fifth serotype discovered in a 2007 Malaysian outbreak. The WHO (World Health Organization) however still recognizes only four. Whether four or five serotypes, creating a vaccine has been very difficult for scientists. Prevention remains your best choice in controlling Dengue infections.

When it comes to prevention, Mosquito Squad of Westchester County NY is your best line of defense. Throughout Westchester County, Mosquito Squad protects its customers with its effective barrier control spray which puts an invisible shield around your property. Our season-long service includes treating your yard every 3 weeks to ensure mosquitoes and ticks are eliminated.