Dengue on the border
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
The muscle and joint pain people can get from dengue fever earned the disease the nickname ``breakbone fever.’’ And there’s also the rash and headache. Although most cases occur in the tropics, it’s being spotted along the Texas-Mexico border.
At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Joan Marie Brunkard says signs of past infection were found in tested blood of 40 percent of Brownsville, Texas, residents and 78 percent of Matamoros, Mexico, residents.
``Our results show that dengue fever transmission is occurring on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border in this region.’’ (6 seconds)
The disease is caused by a virus spread by mosquitoes. So people can reduce their risk of getting dengue by getting rid of mosquito-breeding standing water around the home, and using a mosquito repellent and wearing long-sleeved clothes when outdoors.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011