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2009 Florida Outbreak May Signify Dengue Reemergence

Infection more likely in those who left windows open, had more yard vegetation

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The 2009 dengue-virus (DENV) infection among Florida residents may indicate dengue reemergence, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Elizabeth G. Radke, M.P.H., from the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee, and colleagues investigated the scope and associated risk factors of the 2009 dengue outbreak in Florida following reports of three acquired cases. The area around the index-case patients' residences was classified into strata 1 and 2 (within 200 meters), and stratum 3 (201 to 1,000 meters). A total of 170 households and 240 residents provided blood samples, and information on recent illness, travel, foreign residence, and risk factors for dengue.

The investigators found that 18 and 62 percent of the study population had either lived in or travelled to dengue-endemic areas, respectively. Laboratory-positive DENV infection was reported in 13 participants (5 percent). Infection rates were 4 percent in strata 1 and 3, and 17 percent in stratum 2. DNEV infection was more likely in those who left windows open >50 percent of the time, had >50 percent of their yard covered with vegetation, possessed a bird bath, or received mosquito bites at work. DNEV infection was less likely in those who used air-conditioning >50 percent of the time, disposed of standing water on a weekly basis, and used N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide-containing repellants. Infection was significantly more likely among African-Americans than Whites (19 versus 4 percent).

"This outbreak and its continuation into 2010 demonstrate the potential for reemergence of dengue in subtropical areas of the United States," the authors write.

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