Dengue fever surge reported in US in 2018

Written by Staff Writer, CNN

More than 90,000 cases of dengue fever were confirmed across the United States last year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday.

A dramatic rise in cases of the mosquito-borne viral infection was seen in 26 cities across the US, the CDC said in a statement, most of them located in nine states.

Fifty-three cases of the infection were found in Nebraska, including the arrival of dengue in the Omaha metropolitan area for the first time since 2015. Los Angeles and Hawaii also saw an increase in dengue cases, as did Alabama, Georgia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.

While dengue is transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, travel has long been linked to spread.

Before the arrival of the yellow fever virus in the US at the beginning of the 20th century, almost all cases of yellow fever were contracted from travelers returning from areas of the world with endemic yellow fever, which can be transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

The increase in dengue in the US is unsurprising given the conditions, as the mosquito life cycle is propagated by standing water, and the majority of urban regions in the US are in dry climates.

The weather around the time the CDC made its report in November was also characterized as one of the hottest on record, which the CDC said is likely to contribute to the increase in cases.

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