Florida Facing Threat From Two Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Barbara Liston | Reuters | June 4, 2014

Two mosquito-borne diseases - dengue fever and chikungunya - are posing a serious threat to Florida and residents should take steps to control mosquito populations to try to limit the danger, a leading health expert said on Wednesday.

The Florida Department of Health, in its latest weekly report, said that through last week dengue fever had been confirmed in 24 people in Florida and chikungunya confirmed in 18 people. Both are viral diseases spread by mosquito bites.

All of the infected people in Florida have traveled to the Caribbean or South America and could have become infected there, according to Walter Tabachnick, director of the Florida Medical Entomological Laboratory in Vero Beach, which is part of the University of Florida. Epidemiologists are worried that mosquitoes in Florida may have picked up the diseases by biting infected people, which could kick off an epidemic in the state, Tabachnick said...