CDC: Nearly 250 Cases of Dengue Virus Reported in 3 Northeastern US States

The three states are New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
CDC: Nearly 250 Cases of Dengue Virus Reported in 3 Northeastern US States
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta on April 23, 2020. (Tami Chappell/AFP via Getty Images
Jack Phillips

Nearly 250 people have been infected with dengue fever, a virus spread by mosquitoes, in three northeastern U.S. states, according to data provided by federal health officials.

So far this year, New York state has reported 143 cases, and New Jersey has reported 41 cases, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data released last week. Massachusetts has also reported 59 cases.

About 50 dengue cases have been reported in Pennsylvania, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont in all so far in 2024. However, all of those cases occurred in individuals who were traveling, according to the CDC.

The only other U.S. state with locally transmitted cases so far this year is Florida, with nine cases.

Puerto Rico has reported more than 1,700 dengue cases this year, CDC data show.

Dengue fever transmission generally occurs in subtropical and tropical areas worldwide, health officials say.

The CDC didn’t respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times by publication time.

As of July 2, the CDC had reported 2,559 cases of dengue fever across the country. Most cases have been reported in Puerto Rico, which declared an emergency because of the virus in March.

Last month, the CDC issued a health alert for doctors to be on alert for dengue fever cases as the disease continues to spread worldwide. The virus has been on the rise worldwide and in the Americas in recent months, officials said, noting that some countries have broken calendar-year records for dengue cases.

In its bulletin on July 9, the CDC told doctors to be aware of the symptoms of the viral infection and to ask patients questions about where they had recently traveled. Doctors are also advised to order tests for dengue if it’s suspected.
Data provided by the CDC show that most South American and Central American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, have reported higher-than-normal numbers of dengue. It noted that the virus can be considered a year-round risk, and in some areas, there are outbreaks every two to five years.

Brazil’s Ministry of Health reported more than 5 million cases of dengue as of May.

Individuals who are planning international travel to an area with frequent outbreaks or continuous transmission of the virus should protect themselves “from mosquito bites during and after your trip,” the CDC stated.

Symptoms and Signs

Dengue, which is sometimes referred to as “breakbone fever,” is caused by a virus transmitted by a type of infected Aedes species mosquito’s bite.

Health officials say some people can experience no signs or symptoms of a dengue infection. But when symptoms do occur, they can be mistaken for another illness such as influenza.

Symptoms usually start between four and 10 days after being bitten by a dengue-infected mosquito, according to the Mayo Clinic. It generally causes a high fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit and can include several other symptoms.

That includes muscle, bone, or joint pain, vomiting, nausea, pain behind the eyes, swollen glands, and a rash. In some cases, the symptoms can become life-threatening in what is known as “severe dengue,” dengue hemorrhagic fever, or dengue shock syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

The severe symptoms can often occur after the fever goes away and can include persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, rapid breathing, bleeding gums or nose, blood in stool or vomit, restlessness, thirst, pale and cold skin, and weakness.

Since there is no specific treatment for dengue, the main focus involves dealing with pain symptoms, according to health officials. Acetaminophen, the generic name for Tylenol, is generally used to deal with the pain, but drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are generally avoided because they increase the risk of bleeding, according to the World Health Organization.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: