Via HealthDay.com, a report on a 2012 case that's still timely: Texas Woman's Death Highlights Danger of Overlooking Dengue Fever. Excerpt:
The case of a Texas woman who died after becoming infected in New Mexico with the mosquito-borne dengue virus highlights a need for U.S. doctors to recognize the disease early, experts say.
Dengue fever is an excruciating and sometimes fatal illness for which there is no vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is endemic in much of the tropics, but cases on American soil typically have involved travelers who have "imported" the disease after having been infected elsewhere.
Although the disease cannot move from person to person, mosquitoes are able to pick up dengue from infected patients and, in turn, spread the disease among a local populace, according to the CDC.
In a new report, researchers led by CDC epidemiologist Tyler Sharp described what happened to a 63-year-old Texas woman who became ill in August 2012 after taking a one-month vacation to New Mexico. After returning home, the woman was initially -- and erroneously -- diagnosed with West Nile virus.
On Sept. 22, 2012, the woman went to an emergency room because she had persistent fatigue, fever and chills. She was admitted to the hospital and died Oct. 3 from a rare complication of dengue called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, according to the report.
This is the third locally acquired dengue-related death in the United States and the first dengue-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis case recorded in the nation, the researchers reported in the Jan. 24 issue of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
They said this case suggests there may be more unrecognized cases of dengue in the United States.