FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Key West official reacts to CDC dengue report

Public Health Officials in Key West, Florida, recently responded to a report concluding that dengue fever has returned to the U.S. mainland after a decades-long absence.

Monroe County Health Department Administrator Bob Eadie said the report, which was conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, may mislead people into believing there is still a risk from the illness, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We put a whole lot of effort into trying to eradicate the disease and it showed results," Eadie said, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Unfortunately that kind of gets lost in the report."

Eadie noted that there have been no other reported cases of dengue fever in Key West since 2010. He said Key West officials have focused on mosquito abatement efforts, including spraying and a public information campaign that targeted the elimination of standing water.

"You have to have a critical mass of mosquitoes to sustain transmission of the disease," Eadie said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "If you drive those numbers down, you can stop the spread. We saw good results."

The CDC report focuses on 93 indigenous cases identified in Florida in 2009 and 2010. Very few were found to have originated in Key West, according to the Los Angeles Times.