MIAMI, July 16 (UPI) — Florida health officials have issued health advisories after a Miami man was diagnosed with a suspected case of dengue fever, authorities said.
The advisory by the Miami-Dade Health Department follows a reported outbreak of the mosquito-borne viral disease in Key West, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday.
“We’re concerned that if dengue gains a foothold in Key West, it will travel to other southern cities where the mosquito that transmits dengue is present, like Miami,” Harold Margolis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Common in the southeastern United States and the tropics, dengue fever is seldom fatal except to the very young and elderly with other health conditions, health experts said.
But the recent outbreak is considered serious, and a CDC specialist has been giving classes for Florida doctors and hospital workers in how to recognize the disease, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Symptoms of dengue fever include high temperature, severe headache, a rash, and pain in bones and joints, the CDC said.
The Miami Beach man who is suspected of contracting the disease has fully recovered, Miami-Dade Health Department Director Lillian Rivera said.
A sample of his blood is being tested, and if dengue is confirmed, it would be the first locally contracted case of the disease in Miami-Dade County in at least 45 years, Rivera said.
“This is not a cause for alarm; it is a cause for creating awareness that we live with mosquitoes and we need to protect ourselves,” she said.
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