(CTN News) – On Monday, the Dengue Maricopa County Department of Public Health confirmed that a person recently tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease dengue.
The person who tested positive might have been exposed to an infected mosquito in Maricopa County, according to the MCDPH.
MCDPH reported in a news release that routine mosquito surveillance by the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department (MCESD) detected dengue virus in a mosquito trap in one neighborhood.
In tropical and subtropical regions around the world, millions of cases of dengue are reported each year, according to the Mayo Clinic. Despite this, it is rare in the United States, with fewer than 20,000 cases per year on average.
Dengue fever symptoms can range from mild flu-like symptoms to severe bleeding, organ impairment, plasma leakage, and death, according to the World Health Organization. It is unclear who was infected or how severe the infection was, however, according to the MCDPH.
In response to the positive test, Public Health teams are visiting neighborhood residents to offer free, at-home blood testing. According to the MCDPH, the teams will also provide information on preventing bites and mosquito breeding.
There was no indication of which neighborhood MCDPH would test in.
“While previous dengue cases in Maricopa County have been associated with travel to dengue-endemic countries, it is crucial to understand if other people may have been exposed to the disease as well,” said Dr. Nick Staab, MCDPH medical epidemiologist. “This is in addition to our routine investigations into anyone suspected of having dengue or other mosquito-borne diseases.”
As part of the free mosquito screening program for residents five years of age and older, Maricopa County will deploy teams of staff and volunteers. MCDPH said the tests will determine if a person has been infected in the past several months, even if they are asymptomatic.
“This simple test can provide valuable information to our residents and to Public Health at the neighborhood level,” said Staab.
By reviewing the results of this testing and mosquito testing across the county, we can determine if there are any risks to others. We can also determine what Public Health, Environmental Services, and other partners can do to prevent illness from spreading.
The department stated that they would send postcards to homes in the specific neighborhood, informing them of their upcoming visit, before field teams go door-to-door over the next week to offer testing, prevention kits, and information about how the test results will be shared with those tested or their legal guardians.