Officials: L.I. man likely contracted dengue virus from local mo

Officials: L.I. man likely contracted dengue virus from local mosquito

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Mosquitos that can carry dengue virus: Aedes aegypti (L) and Aedes albopictus. (CDC photos) Mosquitos that can carry dengue virus: Aedes aegypti (L) and Aedes albopictus. (CDC photos)

A Long Island man came down with dengue virus back in September, according to health officials in Suffolk County. The 50-year-old man has since recovered.

Dengue is a leading cause of illness and death in tropical and subtropical countries, according to the CDC.

This was the first known case that someone in New York State has contracted dengue locally, health officials said. You get dengue virus from a mosquito bite. That means he got the virus from a local mosquito that probably had previously bitten an infected traveler.

"The exact route of transmission in this case is unknown," Dr. James Tomarken, Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services, said in a statement released to news outlets. "However, we have determined that this individual acquired dengue virus locally, as he had not traveled outside of the local metropolitan area during the incubation period."

Indeed, other recent dengue infections (from 2011 and 2012) are thought to have happened while those patients were travelling overseas.

Every year, as many as 100 million people are infected around the world, according to the CDC, which notes that symptoms include high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding.

No vaccine exists for dengue virus.

Health officials say the best way to prevent mosquito-borne illness is to use insect repellent containing DEET on your skin and clothes when spending time outside during peak insect times and to keep your property clear of standing water, which allows mosquitoes to breed.

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