Dengue Fever: A Once Eradicated Disease From the Past Rears Its Ugly Head in Florida


Alright, not to scare you, but if you live in Florida, California or Texas, your living conditions are about to get even worst than before. And for once, politicians aren’t to blame.

Mosquitos carrying the deadly dengue fever are on the rise and officials aren’t confident they’ll be able to eradicate the pests for good, according to Tim Phillips, a manager with the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District.

“At this point all we’re doing is trying to control its spread. Outside of the weather maybe helping us, I don’t know if eradicating the mosquito will be possible.”

The disease-carrying mosquitoes that transfer dengue fever were common in the United states during the 1700s and had a foothold as far north as Pennsylvania. It wasn’t until World War II, with efforts by the World Health Organization that malaria and dengue infected mosquitoes were eradicated. Getting rid of the deadly pests will be trickier this time around though because of transit improvements, a changing climate, and plain old human stubbornness.

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In case you’re wondering what comes with dengue fever, (which also has the lovely nickname of “breakbone fever”) well, it’s not pretty. While only 2.5 percent of cases result in death, symptoms of the fever can include: rash, hemorrhaging and going into shock.

And if you’re hoping for a harsh winter that will wipe them out, sorry, the mosquitoes are resilient and can go long periods of time without water. The warmer climate change may also increase the chances of the mosquitoes territory spreading.

Naturally, officials are advising people to wear long sleeves and pants, and empty any containers with stagnant water. Your best advice though — stock up on bug spray and move out of Florida, California or Texas.

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