Dengue fever outbreak

Jesus said that in the end time there will be pestilences. (Luke 21:11). Now, just because a place here or there experiences the usual outbreak of seasonal whatever, it’s not a cause for alarm nor a sign confirmed.  However, when we read of widespread outbreak, spikes in cases, or epidemics, we pay attention.

Dengue fever, a painful fever associated with the tropics, is running rampant in the Caribbean and also cases are up in the Keys of Florida:

1000 exposed to dengue in FL
Five percent of the population of Key West, Florida — more than 1,000 people — have been infected at some point with the dengue virus, government researchers reported on Tuesday.

Puerto Rico:
Dengue fever turns epidemic in Caribbean
Mosquito-borne dengue fever is reaching epidemic stages across the Caribbean, with dozens of deaths reported and health authorities concerned it could get much worse as the rainy season advances.

Dominican Republic:
Dengue cases double over last y
Thousands of health workers and soldiers will destroy mosquito breeding areas across the country this weekend, worried dengue cases are on track to nearly doubled from last year, officials said Friday. At least 27 deaths have been reported, and health officials say more than 5,000 people have been diagnosed so far in 2010 with the virus that causes fever, headaches and extreme joint and muscle pain.

Trinidad & Tobago:
Dengue upsurge, failing health care system blamed
The failure of local health care systems is mostly to blame for the annual rise of dengue cases, Dr Colin Furlong, Head of the Medical Practitioners Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MPATT), said yesterday. With the advent of the rainy season, the country has again begun to see a flood of possible dengue cases, with one confirmed death two weeks ago, that of a 14-year-old boy.

Puerto Rico: Dengue running above epidemic threshold

CDC weekly update shows dengue fever on the severe rise.
Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute febrile diseases which occur in the tropics, can be life-threatening, and are caused by four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. It is also known as breakbone fever. (Wikipedia) “Dengue fever is caused by Dengue virus (DENV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus. A flu-like illness, Dengue fever is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no treatment for it and no way to prevent it from spreading. The Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health warned in a recent report, “dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness that has severe but rarely fatal symptoms, has shown up in Key West and could spread further up into Florida. About 5 percent of Key West residents or about 1,000 people were exposed to the dengue virus in 2009, and, so far this year, there have been 12 confirmed cases of dengue in the Key West area,” according to the report of CNN.”
Dengue fever cases are also up in Columbia, which put out a state of alert. Officials in Zamboanga City, Philippines also put out an alarm due to the high number of cases of dengue fever. “The City Health Office raised Saturday the alarm status of dengue hemorrhagic fever in this city to “very high alert level” due to the soaring cases.”
Another mosquito-borne disease is increasing, this time it’s West Nile Virus, and it’s hitting NYC: 
High levels of West Nile virus in NY
The Health Departments has detected high levels of the dangerous West Nile Virus in every borough except Manhattan.The number of mosquitoes testing positive for the virus is unusually high at this point in the season though there have been no human cases as of yet.

Today, July 18, 2010, the CDC put out an outbreak notice. On that page, if you click the link, are specifics as to where worldwide you’d be most at-risk, and tips for protecting yourself. Any spike in pestilences during this end time bears watching.