LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Two people in Southern California have contracted dengue fever without having traveled outside the United States, health officials say. Mosquito-borne diseases are rare in the United States.
A Pasadena resident was diagnosed with dengue fever last month and is recovering, officials said.
“This is the first confirmed case of dengue fever in California that is not associated with travel, and is rather an extremely rare case of community transmission in the continental United States,” the Pasadena Department of Public Health said in a statement.
The incident is still under investigation, but Pasadena health officials say it appears someone contracted the dengue virus, returned home and was bitten by a mosquito, which then spread it to local residents.
On Wednesday, Long Beach officials announced another domestic case of dengue fever and said the patient had recovered.
Health departments in both cities said the risk of infection to others is low.
Dengue fever is caused by several related viruses and is spread through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes.
It is common in tropical regions and can cause high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and in the most severe cases, internal bleeding and death.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4 billion people, or about half of the world’s population, live in areas at risk of dengue fever, which infects up to 400 million people and kills about 40,000 people each year. .