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Dengue Fever Invades United States

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A survey of 219 patients showed that 11 percent suffered internal hemorrhage, plasma leakage, shock, and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count in the blood).

A controversial way to prevent dengue is to kill off the mosquito population with genetically modified insects. Bijal P. Trivedi reported in the November 2011 issue of Scientific American that testing is already underway for a gene mutation that kills the biting females of one species of mosquito, while leaving the males healthy enough to compete with unmodified males.


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Locally acquired dengue – Key West, Florida, 2009-2010”, MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2010 May 21; 59(19): 577-81.

2. Streit JA et al, “Upward trend in dengue incidence among hospitalized patients, United States”, Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 May; 17(5): 914-16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21529411

3. Trivedi BP, “The Wipeout Gene”, Scientific American 2011 November; 305(5): 68.

Linda Fugate is a scientist and writer in Austin, Texas. She has a Ph.D. in Physics and an M.S. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering. Her background includes academic and industrial research in materials science. She currently writes song lyrics and health articles.

Reviewed November 1, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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Treatment of acute dengue is supportive, using either oral or intravenous rehydration for mild or moderate disease, and intravenous fluids and blood transfusion for more severe cases. The number of cases of dengue fever has increased dramatically since the 1960s, with between 50 and 528 million people infected yearly.

May 24, 2014 - 9:28am
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