Health officials are keeping a close eye on a tropical disease that's infected nearly 150 New Yorkers since the start of the year.

The New York Department of Health is keeping track of an unprecedented jump in several diseases in the state.

So far this year,  health officials confirmed cases of an extremely dangerous form of bacterial meningitis in April, reported a "substantial increase" in mpox (formerly monkeypox) cases in May, and sounded the alarm after several children were contracted measles.

And, recently, there's been a concerning surge of COVID-19 cases.

Read More: Why Is COVID-19 Spreading Much More Rapidly This Summer in NY?

Now, health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are tracking a concerning spike of dengue in the state. The entire country has apparently witnessed "record-breaking numbers" of infections, which is "exceeding the highest number ever recorded in a single year."

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On a state level, there has been a reported 142 confirmed cases of dengue in the Empire State so far this year.  New Jersey has reported 41 cases while Connecticut has treated six cases.

The good news is, all the cases are travel-related at this time. That said, the CDC has a new warning about the spread, as cases reach record levels in the Americas

The virus is usually found in the tropics and is spread by certain mosquitoes, notably the Aedes species - also known as the Asian tiger mosquito. However, with rising temperatures nationwide, it is possible this species can establish themselves farther up north.

Read More: This Will Be the Worst Flea and Tick Season Ever in New York


Tiger mosquitoes were detected in downstate New York during the Zika virus scare.

The CDC says dengue can cause a wide variety of symptoms and complications, from very mild to lethal. Dengue fever causes nausea, vomiting, rashes, aches and pains and can lead to death in some cases.

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Most times, those infected with the virus present no symptoms, or are asymptomatic. About one in 20 symptomatic cases develop frightening side effects such as liver enlargement, mucosal bleeding, severe bleeding, respiratory distress, and end-organ impairment.

Infants under one and adults over the age of 65 are at the highest risk of severe dengue. However, those who were previously infected with dengue and are re-infected are also at increased risk. The risk rises with each subsequent infection.

Dengue can be confirmed via a PCR test, but there are no approved antiviral medications one can take to treat the illness. There also is no current vaccine to protect oneself against dengue at this time.

A way to potentially reduce the number of cases is to treat mosquito-infested areas with pesticide and fumigation.

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If you don't want to potentially expose yourself to a wayward dengue-carrying mosquito, make sure to use bug spray that has DEET before heading outdoors and avoid peak mosquito times around dawn and dusk.

You can also wear loose, long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors, and avoid venturing outside during the peak mosquito times before dawn and after dusk.

With all these diseases about, sequestering oneself to their home and living a lifestyle Emily Dickinson would approve of is becoming increasingly attractive, isn't it?

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