11/03/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, US // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Kauai, HI—A viral disease, for which there is no preventative vaccine or known treatment, sadly claimed the life of three-time world surfing champion Andy Irons. The Irons family confirmed his death Tuesday, October 2, 2010, adding that the professional surfer had been fighting dengue fever, according to information provided by KITV4.

Andy Irons, 32, was on a layover in Dallas, en route to his home in Princeville, Kauai, when his illness proved fatal. The surfing champion had traveled to Puerto Rico to compete in the 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search, but was forced to sit out as he battled dengue fever.

Vans Triple Crown of Surfing spokeswoman Jodi Wilmott issued the following statement on behalf of the Irons family as they cope with the recent and tragic loss:

“The world of surfing mourns an incredibly sad loss today with the news that Hawaii’s Andy Irons has died.

Andy was a beloved husband and a true champion. Irons, 32, withdrew from a professional surfing event in Puerto Rico last week due to illness and passed away during a layover en-route to his home in Kauai, Hawaii. He had reportedly been battling with dengue fever, a viral disease.

At this time the family sincerely thanks his friends and fans for their support and asks that the community respect their privacy. The family also asks not to be contacted so their focus can remain on one another during this time of profound loss.”

Irons leaves behind his wife, Lyndie, who is pregnant and expected to give birth to their child in the near future.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dengue virus (DENV), which is transmitted by mosquitoes, infects up to 100 million people on an annual basis. Additionally, the disease is a leading cause of illness and mortality in the tropics and subtropics. Dengue is extremely rife in Puerto Rico.

Given the fact that there is no vaccine to prevent or treat a dengue infection, the CDC urges individuals to take precautionary steps to avoid acquiring the potentially disease.

For more information about the infection, its symptoms and ways to get around it, click here.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Public Safety and Health News.

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