Is it Zika or dengue? New CDC guidance advises doctors to test patients for both.

From the Miami Herald
June 14, 2019

Summer in South Florida brings warm weather, high humidity and mosquitoes — an ideal environment for two closely related viruses, Zika and dengue fever.

Scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that they want clinicians to keep both diseases in mind whenever patients present with fever, rash, and joint and muscle pain.

Zika and dengue fever have surfaced in South Florida in the past. Both are transmitted primarily by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, though Zika can also be transmitted by sex and through blood transfusions. And both produce similar symptoms.

“Both of them can have some pretty bad consequences but in different populations,” said Tyler Sharp, a health scientist with the CDC’s dengue branch in Puerto Rico and author of a report advising doctors and nurses to be on the lookout for both diseases.