27 Illinoisans infected with dengue as CDC warning in effect in US

17 of the 27 Illinois cases are in Cook County residents

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A dengue warning was recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on the heels of record-breaking levels of cases across much of the Americas, affecting 745 American travelers.

According to the CDC, 27 cases have been reported in Illinois, with 17 of those 27 cases in Cook County residents.

According to the CDC's recent warning issued June 25, more than 9.7 million dengue cases were reported in countries in the Americas, more than twice as many as the 4.6 million cases reported in all of 2023.

The most common arboviral disease globally, dengue is caused by four distinct but closely related dengue viruses, which are transmitted via bites from infected mosquitoes, according to the CDC.

While infection from one dengue virus generally induces lifelong protection against that specific virus, immunity against other dengue viruses only lasts several months to years, according to officials.

Approximately one in four infections are symptomatic, with symptoms beginning after an incubation period of three to 10 days, with symptoms most commonly beginning within five to seven days, health officials said.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, rash, joint and bone pain, pain behind the eyes, headache and/or low white blood cell counts.

Those with symptoms can be tested with both molecular and serologic diagnostic tests, with additional testing guidance provided by local public health departments.

As there are no antiviral medications approved to treat dengue, treatment is primarily supportive, with triage, management and follow-up critical in care for the disease, according to health officials. There are currently no vaccines recommended for travelers, adults or anyone without a previous dengue virus infection.

More information on the virus, including where cases have been detected in the U.S., can be found here.

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