Perhaps it’s the trauma of living through the COVID-19 pandemic, but in today’s social climate whenever the CDC issues some sort of alert the most popular reactions are to panic or ignore it.

The CDC recently issued a health advisory after confirming an alarming number of cases in the Americas this year. Idaho is part of that number, so what does that mean? 

CDC Issues Health Advisory for Dengue

Brazil Struggles to Mitigate Dengue Outbreak
Andressa Anholete, Getty Images

The virus in question is dengue, which can be spread from person to person through mosquito bites. The CDC decided it was time to get the word out to healthcare providers and the general public after seeing the number of cases in North and South America reported from January 1-June 24 nearly double from the number of total cases reported in 2023. The most recent map of cases reported in the United States shows that more than 2,200 cases have been reported in 2024. Idaho is one of the jurisdictions adding to that number. 

What is Dengue?

11 Cases Of Dengue Fever Diagnosed In Key Largo, FL
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The good news is, that like West Nile Virus, not everyone who gets dengue will know that they have Dengue. The CDC says that only about one 1 in 4 people experience symptoms. Symptoms typically show up 3-10 days after exposure. Those with an active case of dengue will experience a fever which may be accompanied with pain behind the eyes, muscle pain, bone pain, joint pain, a rash, nausea or vomiting. 

READ MORE: Urgent Warning - Idahoans Should NOT Travel to These 9 Places

The Mayo Clinic explains that there is no medication to treat the viral infection. Healthcare providers normally tell those with a confirmed case to treat the fever with acetaminophen and treat the other symptoms with increased fluids and rest. Most dengue patients start to feel better within a week. 

Severe Dengue Can be Deadly


That said, not everyone clears the virus easily. The CDC estimates that 1 in 20 patients ends up with severe dengue, which is considered a medical emergency. Severe dengue patients’ conditions can deteriorate in a matter of hours, leading to shock, internal bleeding or death. 

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Warning signs of severe dengue include belly pain, vomiting three or more times in 24 hours, unexplained bleeding from the nose or gums, vomiting blood, blood in the stool and exhaustion. What’s unnerving is these symptoms manifest 1-2 days after the fever has passed. 

How Likely Am I To Get Dengue in Idaho?

Ildar Abulkhanov
Ildar Abulkhanov

While all of that sounds terrifying, there’s really no need to panic. Yes, when you look at the current dengue numbers for 2024, Idaho is an affected jurisdiction but it’s hardly an outbreak. At press time, they’re showing a single case reported in Ada County. The map lets you filter to see if the cases were associated with someone who traveled to an at-risk area somewhere like the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Southeast Asia or Pacific Islands or if the case was acquired locally. The Idaho case was associated with travel. In fact, all 11 of the cases reported in Idaho over the last five years have been travel related. 

That doesn’t surprise health officials, as the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species known to be vectors do not occur naturally in our area, nor have they been detected by the Ada County Mosquito Abatement District while they’ve been monitoring mosquitoes for West Nile. 

So your chances of getting dengue in Idaho are very, very low but it’s good to be aware of the signs and symptoms if you travel. And it’s also good to follow basic mosquito bite prevention techniques since Idaho does regularly have a problem with West Nile Virus. The same prevention steps you’d use for dengue also apply to West Nile. 

So now you know. There’s no need to panic about this one!

KEEP READNG: Idahoans Advised to NOT Travel to These 9 Places

The United States Department of State regularly issues travel advisories for Americans to help keep them safe during their vacations. There are four levels of advisories: exercise normal precautions, exercise increased caution, reconsider travel and do not travel. These are nine of the 19 destinations under a Level 4: DO NOT TRAVEL advisory.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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Colors to Avoid Wearing in Boise Unless You Love Mosquitoes

A new study done by the University of Washington found that mosquitoes seem to be attracted to certain colors while ignoring others. The findings may make you rethink your summer wardrobe! Here take a look at the colors these little bloodsuckers love and hate.

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