SCOTTSBLUFF - Former Miss America and Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan says she's been diagnosed with dengue fever and can't attend this week's pageant.
Scanlan says she began feeling poorly last week and finally went to an urgent care clinic for a diagnosis. Scanlan says she apparently was infected by mosquitoes in Haiti. She volunteered at a Haitian orphanage over Christmas break from her college studies.
Scanlan says she can't travel and "is stuck at home in Virginia." She's attends Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va.
She's a former Miss Nebraska from Gering in the Nebraska Panhandle. She won the national crown two years ago when she was only 17.
The pageant competition began Tuesday in Las Vegas and concludes Saturday night with the nationally televised finals.
Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. It is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows a benign course with symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen glands (lymphadenopathy), and rash. The presence (the "dengue triad") of fever, rash, and headache (and other pains) is particularly characteristic of dengue. Other signs of dengue fever include bleeding gums, severe pain behind the eyes, and red palms and soles.
Dengue (pronounced DENG-gay) can affect anyone but tends to be more severe in people with compromised immune systems. Because it is caused by one of four serotypes of virus, it is possible to get dengue fever multiple times. However, an attack of dengue produces immunity for a lifetime to that particular serotype to which the patient was exposed.
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