Dengue fever outbreak reported in the Valley

Some 17 cases of Dengue Fever have been reported in the Rio Grande Valley

The peak season for Dengue Fever in Mexico was last month but it appears the virus has found its way to the Rio Grande Valley.

Some 14 cases have been reported in Cameron County and three in Hidalgo.

Four of those who have contracted the virus in Cameron County have no history of travel meaning they were in contact with an infected mosquito right here in the Valley.

All of the family members of the cases reported in the Valley are being tested.

Dengue is the most prevalent mosquito borne viral disease in the world. If not treated early it can turn deadly.

That's promoting concern in Cameron Count. The Texas Department of State Health Services is handling the matter and causing awareness.

"It is most serious in very young children, very old people that have chronic diseases especially diabetes and asthma, Dr. Brian Smith, regional director for the Texas department of state health services says.

Dr. Smith says you should be very careful not to confuse symptoms of dengue with that of typhus or the flu.

"Dengue has probably more severe muscle pain and severe headache and especially pain behind the eyes it is more typical for dengue, Smith says. Also with dengue people tend to get rash."

Unlike the flu there is no vaccine and it dengue doesn TMt start with a cough. The best treatment for dengue is IV fluids. Therefore, if you have any of the symptoms visit your physician as soon as possible or go to the emergency room.

Also be sure to take preventative measures at home to avoid mosquitoes from breeding.

"The most important thing to avoid dengue is to clean up the household and clean up the outdoor area where any rainfall or sprinkler system may have gotten water into plastic containers and plastic bags."

Dengue is not transmitted from person to person, it can only be transmitted by a DENV infected Aedes mosquito.