STUART (CBSMiami/AP) — Officials warn of an increased risk for dengue fever in South Florida.
Four new cases have been confirmed on the Treasure Coast, bringing the total of reported cases of the mosquito-borne disease to eleven.
The Florida Department of Health issued a health alert Friday.
Mosquito control is inspecting and treating properties in the affected areas.
Health officials say the eleven cases are connected to the Rio and Jensen Beach area. Seven are from Martin County and four are St. Lucie County residents.
Dengue is sometimes called “break bone fever” because of the severe joint pain it causes in extreme cases. Other symptoms include high fever, severe headache and a rash.
Residents are advised to drain standing water and to cover skin with clothing or repellent.
The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County has had one confirmed case.
Dengue fever symptoms include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, pain behind the eyes, joint pain, and confusion.
Health care providers have been asked to contact their county health department if a person comes to their office with possible symptoms.
Here is some of the advice from the Miami-Dade Health Department:
Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying
- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
- Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pets’ water bowls at least once or twice a week.
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
- Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
Cover skin with clothing or repellent
- Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
- Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
- Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
- Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house
- Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
Here are tips for repellent use:
- Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
- Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are generally recommended. Other US Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellents contain Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
- In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of three years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than two months old.
- Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.
- If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
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