Dengue Fever in Palm Beach County

Horticultural professionals as well as all residents and visitors should be aware that Dengue Fever has been confirmed in Palm Beach County.  A mosquito-borne illness advisory was issued last week.  Yesterday  (10/17/2011), with a second case confirmed and others expected, the advisory was upgraded to an alert by the Palm Beach County Health Department.

Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitos, with Aedes aegypti being the most common carrier.  Aedes aegypti is a day-biter and lays eggs in standing water such as that held by flower pots, bromeliads, pool covers, tree cavities, rain gutters, etc.  It is recommended that care be taken to avoid insect bites through the use of protective clothing, repellents, and avoidance of insect-laden sites.  Mosquito populations can be reduced with the reduction of standing water.

Dengue fever is a virus that presents itself with high fever, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and general flu-like symptoms that may be quite severe.

I recommend that our horticultural professionals educate clients, staff, and coworkers about this alert.  

More information about Dengue Fever can be found in Dr. George R. Rey’s What is Dengue? publication (University of Florida EDIS Publication #ENY-737).

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