Pasadena public health officials confirmed the first case of dengue, a mosquito-borne illness, in California on Friday. Officials say that it is an extremely rare case that was locally transmitted and is not associated with international travel.
Dengue is a viral infection that is contracted through bites from infected Aedes mosquitoes. The virus is typically seen in travelers who have visited countries where dengue is present.
Pasadena Public Health Department and the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District are taking specific measures such as creating traps to assess and test the mosquito population. To date, the results from the tests have not revealed any dengue-infected mosquitoes.
“Pasadena Public Health Department has been conducting surveillance and investigation of mosquito-borne diseases in Pasadena for years,” stated Dr. Matthew Feaster, PPHD Epidemiologist. “Our work so far, in partnership with the Vector Control District, gives us confidence that this was likely an isolated incident and that there is very low risk of additional dengue exposure in Pasadena.”
PPHD is also helping to raise awareness and educate residents on how to prevent the pesky insects from breeding and biting.
“Pasadena is working with healthcare providers to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of dengue infection and is coordinating prevention efforts with local and state public health officials,” stated Interim Health Officer, Dr. Parveen Kaur. “Eliminating mosquito breeding sources is essential to reducing the spread of mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.”
To reduce mosquito populations and prevent bites and the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, PPHD urges residents to adhere to the following standard precautions:
- Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs, or anything that holds water for more than a week.
- Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained.
- Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths, and other small containers weekly.
- Report neglected swimming pools in your neighborhood to your vector control district.
- Wear insect repellent containing CDC and EPA approved active ingredients: DEET®, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Wear loosely fitted, light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
Officials say the case of dengue in Pasadena is an extremely rare locally-transmitted case and the risk of exposure for other local residents is very low.