An outbreak of dengue fever has been reported in Camagüey province. As of July 14, at least three deadly cases (out of at least seven total cases) had been reported in the city of Florida in the previous few days. Health officials fear that the disease could spread within and outside the area amid high temperatures and crowded conditions, notably due to an influx of visitors expected in the province for public events scheduled July 26. A rise in suspected cases of the Zika virus, carried by the same mosquito as dengue fever, has also been reported in Florida.
Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rashes. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, the enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging.
Symptoms of Zika - fever, headache (behind the eyes), conjunctivitis, rash, vomiting, and muscle and joint pain - can appear two to seven days following contraction of the disease, although the virus is asymptomatic in approximately 80 percent of cases. Transmission of the virus is also possible via sexual intercourse. Although the Zika virus is usually relatively benign, links between it and severe birth defects as well as the potentially fatal neurological disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) have been established.
Individuals present in Camagüey, and Cuba more generally, are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in screened-in or air conditioned rooms).