Once widespread in the Western hemisphere (including the Southern U.S.), dengue fever was largely eradicated in the 1960s after the carrier mosquitoes were targeted with the pesticide DDT. The disease slowly rebounded after those efforts were discontinued, however, and while it generally stays confined to the tropics now, a handful of small, scattered outbreaks have occurred in the U.S. along the Mexican border over the past 30 years, according to the CDC.
Since Potter's diagnosis, the CDC and health officials in Florida have confirmed at least 28 cases of the fever in Key West. More than 1,000 other residents -- roughly 5 percent of the local population -- may have been exposed without getting ill, according to a CDC report released last week.
Next time someone says something about the evils of DDT, tell them screw you.
More cases have popped up in Orlando.
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. --
Dengue fever has infected a handful of people in Central Florida, health officials said.
“This is not a regular flu virus that you get, you feel a lot worse,” said Dr. Todd Husty.
“You get a real great fever, a horrible fever; it's called ‘break bone fever.’ You feel like your bones are breaking, but it's really joint pain,” Husty said.
Health officials said more than a dozen people have picked up the virus from Mosquitoes in the Keys.
More than 30 more across the state of Florida have the fever after picking it up out of the country.