Fla. officials confirm dengue fever case

Nov. 12, 2010 at 1:55 PM
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MIAMI, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Florida health officials say they have confirmed the first locally acquired case of dengue fever in Miami-Dade County in more than 50 years.

The Miami-Dade Health Department is warning county residents to take precautions against the mosquitoes that carry the disease, The Miami Herald reported Friday.

"This is a big deal," Department Administrator Lillian Rivera said.

"We have not had a locally acquired case of dengue fever since the 1950s," Dr. Fermin Leguen, the department's chief epidemiologist, said.

The victim, identified only as a man who had not traveled outside Miami-Dade County for more than two weeks, was briefly hospitalized but has fully recovered, Rivera said.

Dengue fever has been on the rise in Florida for two years, officials said.

Key West has reported 57 locally acquired cases in 2009 and 2010, and one locally acquired case was reported in Broward County in August.

The Miami-Dade case was a different strain from those in Key West and Broward, so it was not acquired there, Leguen said.

Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control Director Sandra Fisher urged residents to remove any stagnant water sources around their homes.

"This mosquito lives and breathes around people," she said. "It actually flies into houses looking for a blood meal so it can lay eggs. So checking yards is our first line of prevention."

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