Human case of dengue fever confirmed in Harris County

Thursday, May 30, 2024
Human case of dengue fever confirmed in Harris County
After Harris County found a mosquito tested positive for West Nile in the 77019 zip code, the county reported its first human dengue case this year.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- If you've spent time outside over the last couple of months, you know that mosquitos are out, too. Most of the time, they're just a nuisance, but it's important to remember they can also carry dangerous diseases.

Harris County Public Health is aware of one case of a disease spread by mosquitoes called dengue. They couldn't speak specifically about the case but did say this person had recently traveled.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, up to 400 million people are infected by the dengue virus each year.

Sometimes, there are no symptoms, but dengue fever can send you to the hospital.

The most common symptoms are aches and pains, nausea, vomiting, and a rash. Most people recover after about a week, but severe cases can lead to hemorrhaging or even death.

"Just to be clear about the prevalence in our area, since 2023, there (have) only been a handful of cases," Dr. Ericka Brown with HCPH said. "All of those cases have been related to travel outside of the United States to tropical areas. That doesn't mean that we don't have it here. We do experience mosquitos who do carry the virus. It comes from biting one person and transmitting it onto another person, but, in general, there is a fairly low risk."

Last week, the county found a mosquito that tested positive for West Nile for the first time this year in the 77019 zip code.