Earth Watch Report
Image Source : Wikimedia . Org
Author Mikael Häggström
|Biological Hazard||USA||State of New York, [Suffolk County ]|
|Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services James Tomarken announced Nov. 20 that his department had confirmed a case of locally acquired dengue in his county. The patient, a 50-year-old man, was hospitalized with dengue symptoms in Sept. and has now recovered. This is believed to be the first locally acquired dengue illness in New York State. He had no history of travel outside the region. The dengue virus is carried by mosquitoes. It is believed that the patient was bitten by an Asian Tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. This species was first discovered in the continental United States in 1985, in Texas, and has been spreading northward since that time. In 2010, a Cornell mosquito expert predicted that the first dengue case in New York could originate with the Asian Tiger mosquito. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) track the two types of illness due to a dengue infection, dengue fever and the far more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever. As of Nov. 9, the CDC had received reports of 445 cases of dengue fever and 2 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever thus far in 2013. New York City has reported the largest number, 99 cases.|
|Biohazard name:||Dengue Fever|
|Biohazard level:||2/4 Medium|
|Biohazard desc.:||Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.|
Dengue fever, spread by mosquitoes, reported on LI
The first locally transmitted case of dengue fever reported in New York has been confirmed in Suffolk County, providing evidence that mosquitoes can spread the tropical affliction just about anywhere.
“We were all surprised,” said Dr. Scott Campbell, chief of the arthropod disease laboratory in the Suffolk County Health Department. Arthropods include a vast kingdom of life-forms and mosquitoes are key constituents.
“This goes to show you why public health officials need to be vigilant when it comes to arthropod-acquired diseases and to be prepared for the unexpected,” Campbell said.