A resident in Pasadena, California, has contracted the dengue virus, marking the first locally acquired case in the state not associated with travel, according to public health officials. This is an extremely rare case of local transmission of the virus in the continental United States, and it is primarily spread through infected mosquito bites.
The Pasadena Public Health Department has been conducting surveillance and offering information to residents on preventing mosquito breeding around their homes and avoiding mosquito bites.
The transmission of dengue within the continental United States is a rare occurrence, primarily due to mosquito control measures. The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District has deployed traps to assess the mosquito population, and testing thus far has not identified any dengue-infected mosquitoes. Additional testing will continue over the next few weeks to further assess the situation.
Dengue virus infections can range from asymptomatic to severe and can be life-threatening. While many cases are mild and cause symptoms such as high fever, headache, body aches, and a rash lasting about one to two weeks, severe cases can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal. It is essential to take steps to prevent mosquito bites and reduce mosquito breeding to minimize the risk of dengue transmission.
Dengue virus is rare in the United States, with most cases occurring in travelers returning from regions where dengue is prevalent. In 2022, there were 67 cases of locally acquired dengue virus in the U.S., primarily in Arizona and Florida.
The virus is most commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions. Public health agencies continue to monitor and respond to such cases to prevent the further spread of dengue.