DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Health and Human Services reported the first case of imported Dengue virus in Dallas County for 2017 on Thursday.
The 54-year-old resident of Dallas was infected during recent travel to India.
“Dallas County residents traveling to countries where these viruses are endemic should take precaution when traveling,” said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director. “Dengue is not spread directly from person to person, however mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people.”
Dengue is an illness caused by a virus that is spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, and pain in the eyes, joints, and muscles. After you are bitten by an infected mosquito, symptoms can take up to 2 weeks to develop but usually end in a week. In severe cases, symptoms may include intense stomach pain, repeated vomiting and bleeding from the nose or gums.
CDC advises there is no vaccine to treat or prevent the Dengue. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
“It is very important that travelers understand how they can protect themselves and others,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS medical director/health authority. “Travelers should always practice mosquito prevention while they are in countries where these viruses are found, and if they happen to acquire a mosquito borne virus, they should avoid being bitten again.”
DCHHS said best way to avoid exposure to Dengue is to avoid mosquito bites. Residents should use the 4Ds to reduce their risk:
DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions.
Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.
Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace.
Dusk & Dawn: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.