Dengue fever case confirmed in Suffolk County, New York
Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services James Tomarken said on Thursday that health officials confirmed a case of dengue virus in a Suffolk County male over 50 years of age.
The man was hospitalized in September, and has since fully recovered. This is the first locally acquired case of the virus in New York State.
Dengue virus is contracted through a mosquito bite. There are more than 100 million cases of the virus worldwide every year. Locally acquired dengue fever has routinely occurred in Southern Florida, southern Texas and Hawaii.
"The exact route of transmission in this case is unknown," Dr. James Tomarken, the Suffolk County commissioner of health services, said. "However, we have determined that this individual acquired dengue virus locally, as he had not traveled outside of the local metropolitan area during the incubation period."
Officials said a mosquito that had previously bitten an infected traveler likely infected the patient. They said the climate in New York is not conducive to sustained transmission.
Symptoms of dengue virus include high fever, severe headache, sever pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash and mild bleeding or bruising. The virus can develop to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, which can be fatal. The dengue virus does not have a vaccine or standard treatment.