When Dr. Adriane Trout was presented with a patient suffering from symptoms of headache, fever, chills and general malaise back in August of 2009, she expected nothing out of the unusual. Perhaps the symptoms suggested a urinary tract infection. Standard treatment was started.
Two more visits and a short visit to a local emergency room failed to reveal the cause of the patient’s maladies. The woman’s feet began to swell and small bruise-like markings on both lower legs developed.
Dr. Trout pulled out all the stops. She consulted with a local disease specialist and the possibility of “dengue fever” was discussed.
The patient had not travelled outside the U.S., but had been in the Florida, Key West region. Further testing confirmed Dr. Trout’s suspicions. A call to the Florida Health Department and a relayed call to the CDC and Dr. Trout’s patient was the first of at least 28 people who would eventually be diagnosed with the Key West Dengue Fever outbreak. The outbreak was the first to be noted in the U.S. since 1945 and the first in Florida since the mid 1930s.
The culprit was the lowly mosquito Aedes aegypti, found to carry the disease. All the patients recovered, including Dr. Trout’s first discovery.
Last September 15th, the cable television Animal Planet contacted Dr. Trout, who now practices at the Gananda Family Medicine facility in Walworth. “It was the same day my (adopted) daughter was born,” recalled the physician.
In November of last year a television crew arrived at the Gananda Center, along with the female patient who Dr. Trout diagnosed, up to the area from Arkansas. After a full day of reenactment and filming, an episode of “Monster Inside Me”, featuring creepy, crawly ailments caused by a wide variety of living organisms, was finished.
The show will feature Dr. Trout’s case this Friday (November 23rd) at 8 p.m. on the Animal Planet (see local cable/satellite listings)