CDC Warns Americans of Increased Dengue Fever Risk

The Americas are seeing a sizable increase in cases this year

Fumigating efforts to combat dengue fever.
Efforts to combat dengue fever are underway in El Savador and elsewhere.

There are plenty of reasons to be wary of mosquito bites, and near the top of that list is the risk of contracting dengue fever from such an interaction. The World Health Organization lists the symptoms of an infection as “high fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and rash” — and notes that in the most severe cases, dengue fever can be fatal.

Now, another public health organization has raised a new alarm about the disease, with the CDC warning residents of the U.S. of an increased risk from it this summer.

“Global incidence of dengue in 2024 has been the highest on record for this calendar year,” the agency stated in its announcement. While this is most pronounced elsewhere in the Americas, travelers from the U.S. have reckoned with “a higher-than-expected number of dengue cases” in the year so far, and Puerto Rico recently declared a public health emergency in response to the rising number of dengue fever cases.

Writing at NPR, Pien Huang offered some tips for people concerned about contracting dengue fever. The CDC’s Gabriela Paz-Bailey told NPR that she recommended “dumping standing water, using window screens and, if possible, using air conditioning, because that helps keep mosquitoes out.” Long sleeves and insect repellent can also be helpful, Paz-Bailey said.

Earlier this year, The New York Times reported on efforts by scientists to develop an efficient vaccine against dengue fever. This new vaccine only requires one dose — a significant improvement over previous efforts — and showed promising results. Unfortunately, this particular vaccine can only be distributed in Brazil; still, it’s one step forward for public health.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!