May 23rd, 2010

Dengue in the News … Again

The recent dengue cases acquired in Florida prompted me to think of two things.

First, is this really a surprise?  Dengue has become increasingly common in the Caribbean, the mosquitoes that transmit the virus are widespread in the United States, and it’s not as if there’s some sort of microbiologically (if that’s a word) impermeable barrier between the islands in the Caribbean and our southernmost states:

caribbean map

Add a dose of climate change (not mentioned in the MMWR editorial — just a hunch), and bingo, the perfect recipe for tropical diseases in the Continental 48.

Still, many kudos to the astute ID doctor in Rochester NY who made the diagnosis:

During this third visit [to her primary care doctor], a consulting infectious-disease specialist raised the possibility of dengue infection, despite no recent travel by the patient to a known dengue-endemic area.

Hey, this is why they pay us the big bucks!

The second thing I thought about was another time dengue was the headline in MMWR.  Anyone remember the really big news in MMWR when the lead was “Dengue type 4 infections in U.S. travelers to the Caribbean”?

4 Responses to “Dengue in the News … Again”

  1. ID Nostalgia Buff says:

    PCP in homosexual men in LA and NY.
    NB: We still have no treatment for dengue.

  2. Paul Sax says:

    >>PCP in homosexual men in LA and NY.

    Nearly full credit! It was just LA.

    For the record, the number of dengue cases in 1981 that led off the issue? Two.

    >>NB: We still have no treatment for dengue.

    You get all the credit back for this excellent point — I should have thought of that!

  3. Alfonso E. Sierra says:

    The Mexican state of Tamaulipas, at the border with Texas, has had a surge of Dengue cases for some weeks now. I told friends pediatricians and nurse practitioners to look for cases and encouraged them to win my collection of articles on Wolbachia and Aedes a. by being the first to encounter a case in the Dallas- Fort Worth area. I expect the winner very soon.

  4. Paul Sax says:

    >>…collection of articles on Wolbachia and Aedes a.

    Alfonso, that sounds very valuable and interesting! Let me know when you hear about a case in Texas, agree it sounds like it will be soon.

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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